Saturday, May 25, 2013

Raw Pad Thai

I debated about which of my amazing raw dinner recipes to post, but this one got the most salivating "That looks amazing" comments from friends and facebookers, so I figured I'd share it! There are lots of variations of this recipe out there so I certainly can't take credit for inventing it. I used a combination of this recipe from, and a bunch of others that I skimmed on an intense google search on the topic. Note: peanut butter, thai curry paste, and tamari are not raw foods, so if you want to be "Pure Raw" you will want to sub these ingredients. It was close enough for me though!

Thinly sliced red and green cabbage
2 small carrots, thinly sliced or shredded
1 bunch of baby bok choy, thinly sliced

1 cup peanut butter (you could use almond if you are super committed to 100% raw, but I love that peanut flavor)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons fresh peeled and chopped ginger
1/4 cup maple syrup 
3 tablespoonds tamari 
3 small garlic cloves
1 tsp thai curry paste

Garnish (not optional!)
crushed cashews
a handful of cilantro leaves

1. Slice all the "noodle" veggies and toss together in a large bowl
2. combine sauce ingredients in a blender and process till smooth
2. plate each serving of noodles and smother in sauce
3. top with garnish
4. Take your time enjoying this dish, there is a lot of chewing involved!

(I'm not Vegan) but I LOVED my 5-Day Raw Food Cleanse

Earlier this month, I went on a wonderful weekend vacation/retreat with my partner Dillan. We enjoyed every part of this much-needed trip to a wee town in Vermont (read more about our adventure on his blog here!), including three nights in a row of delicious cheese burgers made from locally sourced Angus beef sold at the snack bar of the Motel/Drive in Movie Theater where we stayed. Really unique and fun, but definitely in excess. When we returned home, we were both ready for some serious detoxing.

Detoxing and cleansing seem to be very "in" these days, especially in the spring when our minds traditionally turn to spring cleaning, shedding layers, and starting fresh. It makes a lot of sense energetically, spring being a time of rebirth and renewal.

There are many methods for cleansing: whole food cleanses, cleanses aided by teas and supplements, juice cleanses, sugar detoxing, raw food cleanses, fasts, and the famous Master Cleanse. Many people think that in order to cleanse the body they need to fast and feel hungry, but I would argue that that's actually counter productive. Not only is that method not sustainable and likely to end in cheating or binging, but it also sends a survival message to your body to hold on to anything it can. A cleanse which includes an abundance of clean nutritious food helps your body feel safe and full, and encourages a release of stored toxins and excess material.

In choosing a cleanse, it's crucial to identify your unique goals and intentions. For me: I wanted to experiment with veganism for a short time to see how my body responded, I wanted to reboot my digestion, and I wanted to feel energized and ready for a new season. After considering many options, I decided that a short (5 day) Raw Food Cleanse was a good match for me.
Yum! "Garden Juice" aka Un-Bloody Mary (carrots, tomatoes, red pepper,  celery, salt and pepper, Tabasco sauce)

I started my cleanse by planning 5 days worth of meals and heading to the grocery store to stock up on all the fresh organic produce I would need. It was fun to go through the checkout and buy a week's worth of high quality food for two people for just about $100. Skipping the meat, cheese, and prepared foods really changed the bottom line on my grocery bill!

Each day I spent about an hour in the morning assembling my food for the day. I started each day with a "wellness shot" (lemon, cayenne, ginger, and a drop of maple syrup, modeled after The Master Cleanse drink). I mixed up a few smoothies for breakfast and a mid morning snack. Our Vitamix got a LOT of play time that week. I packed a lunch (a salad or leftovers from the night before) and plenty of nuts seeds or whole fruit and veggies for between meals. When I got home each evening it was right to the cutting board again to prepare dinner. It was certainly time consuming! But i chose to make it a sacred practice, an investment in my heath, and an opportunity to practice gratitude. All that prep time made me really appreciate the convenience foods I do have in my life and the ease of the times I grab a meal out.

After 5 days of eating essentially 100% raw (with the exception of just few condiments) I felt AMAZING! I noticed a significant increase in my energy level. I was much less plagued by cravings. My gut was very happy with things moving very "smoothly" in that department. I also became acutely aware of how different foods affected me. I noticed an exciting natural "high" after a clean green smoothie, significant heat with my ginger cayenne drink, and a lively satisfaction after chewing a huge heap of raw veggies for dinner. I also felt so wonderfully focused and "in-charge" of what was going into my body, so empowering!

When I talked about my cleanse, many people where intrigued, and many said "that sounds so restrictive!" But it didn't feel that way at all to me, in fact I was more creative and adventurous with my food choices. I read new blogs and tried new food combinations. It was fun!

I've continued noticing positive effects long after the cleanse was completed, although I am happy to be back to snacking on cheese (my weakness!) and sustainably raised animal protein. Those foods, in moderation, work for my body. But I have continued to use more raw foods and recipes in my weekly routine.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. My cleanse left me feeling energized balanced and empowered, but I couldn't have done it alone. I'm grateful for all the amazing blogs out there, and for my own health coach who helped guide my planning and decisions. Do you feel like you could use a little of that in your life? If you are curious about how to execute a cleanse in your (busy) life, contact me for a Health History and let's chat! A guided cleanse would include a co-created meal plan, recipes, and lots of support along the way. I'd love to learn more about how I can support YOU along this food adventure!