Category Archives: Other Random Stuff

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Fourteen


Two weeks ago Jack and Sally went from eating foods like a typical English fry up and steak and chips, to eating nothing but a diet made up of raw vegan foods. This meant no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, cooked grains and pulses, sugar, coffee, black tea – and nothing heated above 45°c. The phrase ‘life’s not worth living’ may spring to mind, but it is…honest! Instead of their usual diet of meat and two veg coated in cream, they ate a tonne of raw fruit, vegetables, nuts, sprouted seeds and grains, olives, seaweeds, healthy fats from avocados, coconut butters and various cold pressed oils in an effort to turn their eating habits around and give their bodies a long awaited surge of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

As this was such a dramatic dietary change for them, I was their personal raw food chef and coach for the entire two weeks. I was able to create scrumptious and exciting raw dishes that would keep them interested and enable them to see that eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring. At all. Jack and Sally were not looking to become 100% raw, and that is not what I was advocating, but they were ready for a big change. They wanted first hand experience of what eating raw foods feels like, to see if it would make them more conscious of the foods they put into their body, and to find out for themselves if this could actually make a difference to their lives. So did it?! I’ll leave it to the ‘Get RaWcous!-Two Weeks on Raw’ stars themselves to tell you….

JACK: 

If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago if I thought eating only Raw food was an easy change to make, I would have said, hell no! Luckily it’s all about who you know. So when we got the chance to have Elaine as a live in chef to take us through it we jumped at the opportunity.  Going into this I was more excited than nervous. I knew Elaine is a great chef so I was looking forward to being her guinea pig and tasting all of her amazing meals that she blogs about. I knew it would be hard, but having Elaine put in so much effort for us means that would have extra pressure to make sure we don’t let her down. So we had a huge pressure to stick to it, and a live in chef to prepare all of our meals. This is sounding real easy! So was it? Yes and no.  Everyone who knows me will know that I am a big meat eater. Don’t get me wrong I love vegetables… I just love them more cooked in cream & bacon, next to a nice lump of roast lamb, with a nice full glass of merlot next to the plate. My lifestyle is far from that of the stereotypical raw foodist and it did make it hard for me to make the transition. After the initial honeymoon period of the first week any time I got tired, fed up or bored all I wanted was my old diet. Luckily I had my new staff member on call to make me some amazing nut and chocolate snacks to get me through. After a couple of days of sitting on my backside ungratefully accepting delicious labour intensive foods I realised what an arse I was being… Sorry Elaine!  Because I’m used to having a heavy carb meal late at night, sleeping on it, then having a big bowl of porridge for breakfast I’m not very good at actually knowing when I’m hungry. I normally eat through routine so adjusting to a low carb vegan diet meant that I really knew when I needed something. My energy levels were very up and down and a few hours after eating I would tend to have a lull, which meant I needed raw snack foods and juices on standby. Other than that it was actually pretty easy, and it becomes easier the longer you do it.

So do I still think it’s hard to go raw? Not at all. The food is remarkably easy, but you do need some knowledge and preparation. If you are doing the 2 weeks without the luxury of a live in chef you will have to be up for spending extra time in the kitchen every day. You will need to get fresh foods every couple of days and get used to a new set of skills. I’ve never heard a blender used so much, but if you want a creamy cashew sauce, or a delicious raw chocolate mousse you will get used to it quickly. All I would recommend is that you get some guidance, pick some exciting recipes and that you make sure you have a varied diet so you are exited and well nourished. Although I think that 100% raw is not for me, I do think that the last two weeks were invaluable and it’s been potentially life changing. It has changed the way I look at food. After buying sweet chilli peppers that were full of sweeteners and some sun dried tomatoes that were coated in preservatives I learned to look at the label and see what’s in there. I want to know what goes into my body. I’ve also got used to juicing old veg before it turns and giving my body a real boost of nutrition… and spirulina, the most nutritious substance on earth. Why aren’t we taught about spirulina at school? The stuff is amazing, gives you an instant energy boost with no crash and is packed full of goodness. I’m going to take away some great recipes and knowledge, so who knows? Maybe the next time I do a raw detox my lifestyle won’t have to change as much!

SALLY:

So my two weeks of eating nothing but raw foods has reached an end.  I have not woken up this morning and gone running for the nearest cafe for a fry up but instead feel saddened by going into the kitchen and not finding Elaine whizzing up some fruitful power juice for me to start my day with, so instead I grab the manual juicer and squeeze four oranges to make some fresh OJ, delicious.  The kitchen seems strangely cold, surprising really considering the oven has not been on for the past fortnight and I’m finding I am missing the strange smells of some vegetable pulp dehydrating in the corner and an array of nuts and seeds in various guises around the place (sunflower seeds soaking in a bowl, brazil nuts in the blender, almonds whipped into a paste).  Does this mean I will be straight out to by a dehydrator, well no, not yet but i will be getting a juicer! and have re-evaluated what foods i put into my body every day.  I have had no desire to return to eating meat and will also avoid cow’s milk, replacing it with soya or nut milk, as far as egg’s go, well I still really fancy an egg!  There was no raw food I disliked and everything was packed full of flavour, for me its all about lazinesss and if I could have a pemanat live in Elaine, I would!  

Jack has done the first supermarket shop since Elaine has gone and the kitchen is packed full of fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, in the fridge there is goats cheese, fresh olives, a carton of eggs and hiding behind all of that, a premium steak. That’s Jack’s treat, he has really missed eating meat, considering his usual diet would consist of two meat meals a day, and I don’t blame him for wanting the steak, the boy did good over the two weeks and is looking noticeably brighter, we both are.  My skin feels great and my eyes are white.  Jack has a new found energy and I, not being an excersisor or one described as a high energy person (Sal, yeah she’s too much, high energy that one) have not noticed a shift in my energy but do feel generally healthier in spirit and an feeling of inner smugness that this experience has brought me.  I will continue to eat Raw and combine it with a diet of regular cooked food, if I replace one meal a day with purely raw foods then long may this smugness continue.

Sally Clark – Get Rawcous convert and supporter, March 2012

THE ‘BEGINNING’…

😉

*****

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Eleven


Jack  – “I think I’ve turned a corner, Elaine. I feel really good this morning. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I feel really happy!

 HALLELUJAH!!! I made Jack and Sally a Raw Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake for breakfast to celebrate (see below for recipe!). Jack woke up first thing feeling energised and ready for the day.There was no grumbling, in fact there were smiles all round. He said he felt completely different to how he has felt for the last few days, it was as if something had shifted. He wasn’t craving other foods so much and he felt in a really up beat mood. I made him a fresh juice and another portion of his beloved Gazpacho Soup for his lunch. I received this text from him after he’d eaten it – “That was tremendous, superb, amazing, incredible, edible, delectable, vegetables. Thanks!“.

🙂

Sally was happy and much more centred today, too. She had a simple salad and a couple of pieces of fruit for her lunch today. She says she is really enjoying the feeling of being healthy. She no longer has any massive cravings (apart from the egg, obviously), but her biggest concern is when I leave. She is worried that she’ll just end up staring at the fridge thinking “Help!”. So tonight she was in the kitchen with me making the Raw Pesto for the courgette spaghetti. This is her favourite dish and one that she is really keen to learn how to make for herself. She couldn’t believe how simple it was, I mean, it really is just whizzing a few ingredients up in a food processor. Anybody can do it. The most taxing part may be the fact that you need to soak the sunflower seeds. A lot of people go “Ooo, soaking seeds? I’m not sure about that… Oh, that all sounds a bit much for me that… Sounds too much like hard work”. Does it? Really?!  It only takes about 30 seconds to pour some sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover them with water 🙂 It’s just the fore thought that might seem something like ‘hard work’, but once you’ve done it a few times, it’s very easy. Promise…

Raw Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake
:
Milkshake
1-2
Ingredients
  • 500 ml Brazil Nut Milk
  • ½ coconut (as in a normal brown one that you can buy easily in the uk!)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 dried figs
  • 1 tsp suma (or other superfood of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a blender and blend!!

 

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Nine


 

I think it is safe to say that today was a far better day than yesterday. We didn’t go to the gym this morning, and Jack feels much better for it. I think doing exercise on top of all the raw food is maybe too much for him at this early stage. No more gym trips, then. Well, my pass had run out anyway… It was nice while it lasted. Anyway! Back to the raw food.

After being woken up at 4 am this morning by a drunk couple arguing outside the house, I decided to make the most of my frustrated wide awake state and head down to the kitchen. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you’re trying to make yourself so knackered and worn out that you’re able to sleep through incoherent loud mouthed ranting…I re-arranged the kitchen, put a tray of Raw Chocolate Macaroons in the dehydrator, prepared Jack and Sally’s breakfast and also came up with these new little beauties –  Mini Raw Chocolate Tiffin Slices. It’s because of these Mini Raw Chocolate Tiffin Slices that I am now glad of the fact that I am not in possession of a Vita-Mix. Had it not have been for my bog standard £25 blender, these moorish slices of tea time goodness may never have been created. You see, when I make my Almond Milk in said £25 quid blender, the almonds don’t really blend very well. At all. A few do, and the others just whizz around shouting at the blades “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!”. So what I’m left with is a kind of chunky almond pulp mush. I normally dehydrate this* and leave it sat in a tupperwear doing nothing for weeks. But at 4.30am this morning, I saw the chunky dehydrated almond pulp through new, half closed eyes. I thought “Hang on a little second…that chunky dehydrated almond pulp looks cannily like…biscotti!” And it didn’t stop there. From then I started thinking “Hmmm, maybe if I pour chocolate all over it, it will taste like a chocolate biscuit type thing… and if I add some pistachios, chopped brazils, a few raisins and gojis, it might resemble something close to….TIFFIN!!!” Which it absolutely does – WIN!  Here’s the recipe –


Mini Raw Chocolate Tiffin Slices
:
Tea Time Treat
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of chunky dehydrated almond pulp
  • 1½ of liquid chocolate**
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup agave or maple syrup
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup chopped Brazil nuts
  • ½ raisins
  • ¼ goji berries
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Put everything in a bowl and give a good stir to make sure it's all coated in chocolate.
  2. Spoon mixture out into a large rectangular glass dish, about 1 inch thick.
  3. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours.
  4. When set use a sharp knife to cut into small squares, or how ever big you fancy.
  5. Using either palette knife or metal frying spatular, lift the squares out of the tray.
  6. Enjoy with your favourite cuppa mid afternoon!

*******************

Sally – “I feel great today. I loved my lunch of onion bread topped with avocado. Simple and delicious. And I love the scones you made in the dehydrator. In fact someone at work today said “Oi! You’re not allowed to eat that! And is that cream in the middle?” And I said, “I think you’ll find I am, and no it’s not cream; it’s coconut butter thank you very much”. My cravings have definitely subsided, although I am still looking forward to having an egg. Don’t want meat at all though. My friend told me tonight that for her dinner she had turkey fillet with mash, fried mushrooms and tomatoes and I have to say, I thought it sounded revolting! I was very happy with my raw meals today”

Jack – “I feel so much better today from not going to the gym. I feel like I have had more time to reflect on the changes to my diet and I have to say I feel very positive. I haven’t eaten much today, but have still had a great amount of energy, and that is a wonderful feeling. I can’t say I have experienced the crazy raw buzz that you talk about, but maybe that is because it’s early days. I don’t know whether I would want to stick with this 100% though to find out. I just miss meat too much. I’m not craving ‘bad’ foods today though, which is good. I would just love a fillet steak with new potatoes… and a salad, too! Salad and meat, that will do me. I do feel really good on raw food today, though… ” 

* Yes, I have a dehydrator. I find you’re either a Vita-Mix person or a Dehydrator person. One day I’ll be a fancy pants and have both.

** Here’s how to make the liquid chocolate. Just omit the orange oil (or leave it in, that might be quite nice actually!)-

 http://getrawcous.com/recipies/chocolate-orange-hearts

Eating Out

A met with an old friend of mine recently. He knew me back in the days when I would mop up lamb fat with a slice of white bread. Although he didn’t outwardly dismiss my new lifestyle, I could tell that he had some concerns. One of them was the fact that he knew I loved going out to restaurants. How was I able to do that now? I told him this was still possible but he didn’t believe me. As far as he was concerned, my dressing up and eating out days were over. The next evening, I found myself in a beautiful little restaurant called Simplicity in Rotherhithe. A place more known for it’s crackling than it’s avocados. I went with my friend Alice, who kindly asked the chef if he would fix me up a salad with any veg he may have in the kitchen. Which he did. And it was lovely! So here I was in a cosy little restaurant with a tasty vibrant dish before me. Ok, so there wasn’t any pork belly in my belly, but I wasn’t concerned about this so why should anyone else be? I think peoples concerns on this subject are more about themselves than me. I had a lovely meal out, and didn’t feel any different to how I used to feel in the past when I ate out. Well that’s not strictly true, I did feel different. I felt better.