Cashew Cheese

I use a very basic recipe to make this amazing, mouth-watering treat.

1 cup soaked cashews

1 lemon juiced and zested

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt ( I use Celtic or Himalayan for all those yummy minerals)

I blend all the ingredients together until a smooth paste forms. Then I add the zest and fold it through (sometimes I skip the zesting).

I freeze my chesse in small batches. I find that I can’t go through too much anyway at one go, it’s pretty heavy.

I use this cheese as a salad dressing, on my raw seed crackers, or just with crudités as a snack.

I credit my discovery of nutritional yeast for single handedly curing me of my dairy addiction! Giving up the huge quantities of cheese that I ate before was always going to be a challenge. But the familiar flavour of the yeast, led me to experiment and discover that I could substitute yeast for cheese in some recipes and not lose the flavour!

For example, to make a cheesy pasta sauce:

1 cup soy Or other non dairy milk

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

salt to taste

BOOM simmer on a stove, add your favourite vegetables (mine are mushrooms/spinach). Add your pasta and you’re done. ❤️

If you’re not a pasta fan (I’m not), I toast a piece of gluten free bread and add my cheesy mushrooms on top, and sprinkle with herbs like parsley, coriander, thyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My gut healing cleanse

This time around, the gut healing cleanse seems to have really hit the spot. Mostly, I’ve cleansed using a raw food diet or juicing, to try and lower my HbA1c. This time I was keen to fix the elephant in my body. My obviously leaky gut. Yes I binged. But I also ate a very good diet a lot of the time. I still felt sluggish tired and malnourished.

Initially, when drawing up the gut healing protocol, my body seemed unwilling to juice. It craved warmth, nourishment, nurturing. So I started making soups. Not my ideal but still clean eating.

And I discovered that I LOVED THEM. Sounds weird? Almost 40 and never made soup before? When my husband attempted to make soups a few times in our marriage, I was quite keen. For some reason, probably I never loved my mom’s only soup recipe, I never tried to make soup. Like ever.

Anyway, my body for the first time since I started juicing (2-3 years now) was not ready for juice. So instead of stir-frying; the only other method I could think of was boiling up all my favourite vegetables in water and blending them. And I discovered heaven. Broccoli soup, I couldn’t get enough of cabbage!!, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, you name, I souped it. Spiced them up with my favourite spices – I’d become addicted to fresh turmeric – ginger, pepper, Himalayan salt .

I stuck with soups and salads. Still sugar-free, dairy free, and grain free. I did my phase one with this diet.

After 3ish weeks, I felt ready to implement phase two, and ready to start juicing.

A few weeks ago, a friend had talked about water fasting. I was intrigued and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

After a few days of juicing and phase two supplements; I tried one day of water fasting. And then two. And then a few more.

It was the most intense cleanse of my life. Body AND mind!

I got pretty dark and angry on day two and had a bit of juice. About 200ml cabbage and blood orange diluted with 300ml water. And continued doing this throughout as I was still on my Janumet and my sugar readings were still good with such a small amount of juice in my system.

But things were shifting energetically for me. Maybe the supermoon had something to do with it? Besides weight loss; the fast gave me ENERGY. And I was never really hungry. With raw food, the smell of cooked food made me weak at the knees. With water fasting, I never felt that way at all. I didn’t feel the need to eat. So many of my life issues stemmed around food and energy. Taking food out of the equation… life became CLEAR. For the first time in a long time.

My motivation to continue: a blood test confirmed that my body was in ketosis (!!) I didn’t even know a vegan could go into ketosis til I did some research. And number two, I didn’t need insulin if I wasn’t eating anything. Number three, my urine was very yellow and very smelly (TMI??). Things were coming OUT of me! Lots of things. And I didn’t want to stop this intense deep clean that was obviously going on. I did eventually stop at day 5. And learnt that once your digestive system has completely shut down, it needs a bit of time to start up again LOL.

 

Leaky Gut Treatment Protocol Phase Two (Seed)

In this next phase, the focus is on planting the ‘seeds’. Killing the bad guys leaves room to add some of the useful bacteria we need in our system.

Using a combination of foods and supplements again is the best way to achieve this. We not only want to add the good guys into our diet, we also want to provide food and a good environment for them to grow.

Cultured vegetables and various fibres like Slippery Elm and psyllium are a great place to start. Instead of juicing, this phase is great for blending green smoothies! The good bacteria thrive on the fibre we are now providing. Again, focussing on vegetables is key and limiting fruit and sugar means that the leftover bad guys are not being fed and allowed to grow and reproduce again. I do not mean that you are never allowed to eat anything sweet again, once the good bacteria have regained their footing and your gut health is optimal, your body is able to cope with a larger variety of foods.

Leaky Gut Treatment Protocol Phase One (Weed)

There are a few different protocols to use. I’ve chosen the weed, seed and feed method.

I’m aiming for an approximately 2 week long juice detox. Ideally, you just want to have as ‘clean’ a diet as possible, with no processed foods and plenty of fresh vegetables of all types.

This first phase will include herbs and supplements that help kill or destroy parasites and opportunistic bacteria and viruses that have managed to gain a foothold in the body.

I suggest juicing as it ensures that there is minimal energy directed towards digestion, and maximum energy directed towards healing. Approximately 30-40% of our daily energy requirements are used purely to digest the food we eat ?. Providing already broken down foods, where the nutrients are super available, lessens the amount of energy needed considerably.

Excluding the roughage from fruit and vegetables is not normally what is recommended. Fibre is such an important thing for the health of your digestive system, so it sounds counter-intuitive. However, when juicing, the nutrients your body need is very easily available to you with very little effort from your digestive tract. By freeing up the time and energy you would normally use for digestion, the body can focus purely on cleaning and maintenance jobs.

Minimising fruit intake helps to starve the bad bacteria that live off the sugars in our food. There are also amazing supplements available that help to destroy a wide range of baddies.

Contact me if you need help or advice tailoring a gut health protocol for yourself. I will be happy to advise on diet and supplements based on your personal needs.

 

 

 

Healing the gut

So, I’m finally shaking myself out of denial.
I’ve always known that I have a Leaky gut issue. And I’ve made some lame attempts at using supplements that will help fix the gut lining.

It’s been so many years now and my gut’s getting worse.
I am beginning to feel very malnourished for all the food I consume. I always complained that I do so many things right, why doesn’t my body register that and respond with some healing and positive change. Well… If not much of what I’m putting in my mouth is getting through, that would kind of explain it!

A Leaky Gut happens when the gut lining is so damaged that instead of letting through properly digested nutrients for the body to use, it lets through larger bits of food that just act as harmful intruders.

This causes a lot of stress and an inflammatory reaction. Sometimes these larger molecules even get to the brain creating a ‘fogginess’. It causes quite a stress on the body constantly fighting off this low grade, never-ending, barrage of not-properly-presented food molecules. It doesn’t know how to deal with it. That’s the gut’s job, and no one else knows what to do!

Veggies and cauliflower rice two ways

Stir fried veggies with cauli rice

This was the kids’ dinner so I kept it simple and used non vegan sauces :
Bok choy
Onion
Mushroom
Carrot

I added oyster sauce, fish sauce and tamari. And then I got overzealous and put some dashi miso in ?. Not a good idea! Luckily the kids were too hungry or the lemon wedge helped to even out the flavour cos they gobbled it up!

Grated more cauliflower in at the end and added some more bok choy.

Veggie stir fry with Cauli rice kids
Veggie stir fry with Cauli rice kids

I felt like something spicier than the kids’ bland stir fry
So I fried up my favourite green curry paste and added the same veggies:
Shiitake mushrooms
Bok choy
Onion
Carrot
And grated cauliflower to represent my favourite rice

I cooked it for a little bit then added some coconut milk powder.
Allowed that to dissolve.
Finished the dish with another quarter cauliflower grated while the pot was off the stove.
Garnished with lemon wedge that lifted the flavour profile to AWESOME.
The veggies were barely cooked and still super crunchy.

I come from an Indian background and we cook our vegetables til they’re dead 🙂
I’m only just learning how not to do this anymore?

Thai green curry with Cauli rice
Thai green curry with Cauli rice

You know your body best

There are so many different theories around..

Which diet works the best: low carb, low fat, high protein, high carb, raw, paleo, 5:2, 16:8 …

Which exercise regime gives the fastest results: hiit, tabata, weights, cardio, boxing …

The options are endless. And confusing!

My amazing friend and personal trainer Kate Martin said: “You know yourself best.”

Trust your instincts, listen to your body.

I know my body responds really well to raw foods. It annoys me when I’m told to add a bit of protein, some fish or eggs. I know I have a leaky gut. I know I need to heal it. And I know how!

However, despite all I know; I have not been successful at creating a routine or strategy that complements my life, my thinking, ….and my excuses.

Which is where hearing what others have to say or what they believe in, helps me fine tune my process.

For instance, the GP I saw (Dr Malcolm MacKay) suggested that some complex carbohydrates in each meal is essential. He means brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc. Apparently as a means to balancing your blood sugar levels.

I have been avoiding complex carbs like the plague. But it makes sooo much sense to add a tiny bit to enhance satiety. (It doesn’t take much to make you feel satisfied!) And hence enhance success. The challenge is to stop at just a little. So far, it has been an insurmountable challenge. But I will prevail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Method

This is an example of my ideal food diary. I try and hit as many of these items in the course of a day of raw foods.

Menu

Breakfast

  • Chia in water OR
  • Blended baby spinach in water (or coconut water)

Snack

  • apple, some kind of fruit/veg OR
  • carrot sticks, plain or with cashew cheese OR
  • celery stalk sticks, with nut butter if I’m really hungry
  • raw crackers and cashew cheese

Lunch

  • Salad with dressing (balsamic, or ACV, or cashew cheese)
  •  Veg soup (celery leaf, cabbage, bok choy, ginger, turmeric, garlic, stock)

Snack

  • as above

Dinner

  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Raw crackers and cashew cheese

Snack – if I’ve missed a meal or am feeling like a binge. Nights are hardest for me when going raw. Having lots of food on hand helps.

  • Raw cracker
  • Cut up veg crudités

if I feel a strong urge to cheat…

  • Salted pistachios
  • Smoked almonds

Motivated

I am running out of meds (Janumet, insulin) so I needed to get a blood test done before returning to see my GP.

As a last ditch effort, I took a friend’s advice and googled for GPs in Melbourne who were nutritionists and shared my eating principles. My current GP is rather traditional and the first one I’ve managed to stick with consistently.

The visit with the new GP was not like all the docos I’ve seen. He did not immediately take charge of my case and try to revolutionise my life ?.

I was disappointed. His website is great and I got a lot of good info off it.

In the mean time, the thought of getting harangued by my regular GP was just too stressful, so… I went raw to dupe the results.

This is the first time I’ve gone raw on meds, and constantly monitored my results. It’s also the first time in years that I’ve seen a 5 in the blood sugar results pane.

It was comforting.

I drastically reduced my insulin intake, did a bit of research and attempted a split double dose of my long acting insulin (levemir) which has worked amazingly well. A week into the detox, I cut out the morning dose of insulin.

i juiced raw Indian bitter melon/gourd (Karela) and drank a tablespoon or so at a time. My sugar dropped by one point in half an hour ?. It was akin to taking insulin. Of course it tastes horrendous. But worth it I think!

 

 

 

 

Ginger Syrup for Winter Wellness

I had ALOT of ginger and decided to try and make a strong, intense chesty cough and cold remedy.

Ginger is supremely warming for the colder months and those chesty, croupy coughs that are hard to shift.

I used a simple recipe from epicurious.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 pound ginger

Ideally I would have preferred no sugar at all, just boiling the ginger for hours til it became a scalding tea. But I know my kids won’t stand for that!

My next option was raw honey as a sweetener, thanks to its many healing properties. Once heated though, honey loses a lot of its potency.

My last and final option was to use cane sugar. Unrefined cane sugar. I settled on muscovado because I had some in the pantry.

The smell that’s permeating the house right now… To die for ??

 

Ginger Syrup

An unrefined Cane Sugar where the molasses is left in.

Ginger Syrup

Matchstick slices of ginger. They are removed from the final product and can be turned into candied ginger in the oven

Ginger Syrup

Ginger Sugar and Water are left to simmer. The longer they simmer, the stronger the ginger hit

Ginger Syrup

The final product: Ginger Syrup

I also put the recovered ginger into the oven at a low temp til it hardened to make divine candied ginger NOMMMMM…..

allergy free wholefood candied ginger
Candied ginger

Next time I will boil the syrup for much longer than the recommended 30 miutes to get a more robust tasting syrup. Also, the syrup was fairly liquid and needed to be stored in the fridge.

 

 

Black garlic

So a mom at school introduced me to Black Garlic.
I’m addicted.
Apparently it can be made at home.
My first effort was burnt to a crisp. I apparently needed to keep checking it towards the end..
The second (using proper, expensive, unbleached, purple garlic) was the perfect texture, no taste :/
I’m the vaguest kind of scientist there is: no notes, no system, just blind trialling.
Third and last batch I’m back to the cheap garlic.
Fingers crossed.

The method I chose from the many available online:
10 days in a rice cooker
Except I only have a pressure cooker (I’m wonderful at following instructions)
I separated each layer using South Indian idli trays.

My wonderful mom friend provided me with two samples.
The first was made by a chef in a restaurant kitchen. The UMAMI flavour was a revelation.
Layers of flavour poured out of each bulb.
The next was made by herself using an old rice cooker.
Much less complexity of flavour, but as you crave that umaminess more and more, you get less and less fussy 🙂

Well worth a try if you have a spare rice cooker. I might just have to buy one I’m so desperate for more!!

 

 

 

School Holidays and other excuses

Choosing to have a break from the routine that I’d built up over the months was a poor but necessary decision.

I haven’t yet mastered the art of getting back on the wagon once you come off. I keep forgetting how hard it is to motivate oneself to limit/restrict/supress your desires.
First it was ‘I deserve a break’
Then, my husband was making a major life change and  my stomach was in knots.
Of course, school holidays meant another break in routine.
Beach holiday, interstate trip, daughter’s 4th birthday party, etc, etc.

UGH.

This is where my frustration levels peak and I start using really derogatory self talk and ‘hating on myself’.

When I rediscover my mojo or find a formula for getting back on the wagon I will MOST definitely share!

The good news….

So, after all these year of trying so so hard; my body has FINALLY started showing change.

2013
I tried major life changes (work, moving interstate).

2014
I tried diet.
I went raw multiple times and even juiced for ten days (including 3 colonics!).

2015
I got an amazing personal trainer.

2016
The change.

I understand that I needed this slow build up. Fast change is not lasting change.

First I had to relearn how to feed myself. In a way that suited my body. Yes, I’d had success with a high protein diet, even as a vegan! Diets work great while you’re on them.

But what I needed was a lifestyle change. And the raw vegan lifestyle suits my body to a T. Once I discovered this, I got passionate. Once you find passion, everything else becomes do-able. All the ferments and cultures and sprouts have worked wonders to heal  my gut lining and recreate a healthier intestinal microbiota. Which essentially seems to be the most important way to heal all of you including your mind!

The physical training in the gym made me have a purpose. Something I was sorely lacking since getting married and having kids. I finally had a goal. Even though it was a pretty standard, boring one: to look better. I had a community. Being at the gym at the same time each day/week, meant I got to see the same people. I hardly spoke to any of them, but I had a sense of security and comfort in the sameness and routine of it all.
Weight-lifting made my body feel stronger, I loved the rippling of my muscles that I could now actually feel under all that fat.

The BIGGEST change however, came from changing my MINDSET.
Honestly, that is when the weight started finally coming off. I knew the right things to do and I was doing them for the most part and then lapsing from the lack of results, and the frustration.
But when my trainer introduced me to Louise Hay’s morning and evening meditations (mainly waking up being grateful) and ESPECIALLY Esther Hicks (living with the flow of life, instead of constant resistance); my life changed.
My mind just settled into the groove that it had been searching for. These people spoke my language!

I made a decision to get off insulin, I went cold turkey. I went raw for close to three months TOO EASY. It was hardly even a challenge really. And physically, finally, the long awaited changes came.

I know raw food isn’t for everyone, nor are my motivators going to work for you. But I firmly believe, that mindset is a HUGE part of what creates who we are. Nothing much was changing for me, or at least my mind couldn’t SEE the changes, until I opened my mind’s eye to looking outwards, instead of inwards.

Am I still raw?
I took a break 🙁 🙁 and I’m trying hard to get back to raw.

Do I still go to the gym?
As much as I can. even if its just a quick 15 minute walk on the treadmill (I so can’t do the outdoors)

Am I super skinny and hot?
Lol. No. I’m back to a size 18 and weigh in the early 90s. But yes, compared to before, I feel like a supermodel :):):)

Am I still insulin free?
The second I eat cooked food I need insulin. As long as I’m raw or eating protein (tofu, nuts) or only basic steamed veg, I don’t need insulin. My dependence on the huge doses I took in the past has completely diminished. I am now on a tablet. I still have a long journey ahead of me to reverse my diabetes :). But I feel like at least now, I finally have a map!!

This year I feel like I am creeping even further out of the very thick, strong and protective shell I built for myself. Do I understand why I built that shell? I’m kinda wondering.. do I even need to???!

And finally, some show and tell …

Me at my dad’s 60th July 2014 and in February 2016

Evolution

My food choices are still the hugest challenge in my goal to reverse my diabetes.
When I take a break from raw, or high raw; it always goes south….and ends up at the inevitable…..

Potato chips…

Bags and bags of them.

However, to be fair, my tastes are changing. Slowly. But surely.

I’m adjusting lifelong recipes. Discovering a wider range of flavours.

I used to demolish litres of yoghurt, kgs of cheese, pots of sour cream. Not organic, not vegan.
Of course, as I started to feel more and more ill from it, I had a battle on my hands to remove the whole range from my life. A battle I am proud to say, after many many years, I’m close to winning.
I just can’t quit  Demon King PIZZA!!!!!
That’s my final dairy frontier.

The Good, the Bad and the Bloated

I normally only ever blog when I’m trying to be good.

It sort of defeats the purpose of this blog.
The whole purpose is to chronicle how challenging it is to get on the road of wellness. I have too often seen ‘before’ and ‘after’; but very rarely been exposed to the ‘in between’ hard yards and failures and intimate details of the desperation.

Last week, my dad visited from interstate. Together we did 7 days of 95% raw. He was probably closer to 100%. And it was easy for me. I hosted 2-3 dinner parties that week. And still ate salad or at worst roast veg while my guests dined on a feast.

And yet, when I went shopping yesterday…. For the first time, my usual size 18 was nowhere near my normal size. Size 18 is huge, depressing and definitely obese. Now, though, I’m buying size 22-24… :o!!!!!!!

I am TERRIFIED.
Fear makes me turn to food.
So I’m just stuffing my face, making myself sick, with disgust and actually physically sick with all the junk I’m consuming.

I should know better than to do this. Food doesn’t taste good to me anymore.
I relish and thoroughly enjoy gobbling down a well-dressed salad or a delicious green smoothie (the chia porridge is still a punishment more than a pleasure).
However, my default pizza always leaves me feeling slightly sick.
So I should know better.

My epiphany when I went raw this time, is that I am using food to fill this humongous, bottomless void in me. A void that exists from me not having a goal or purpose in my life. Yes, I am raising two AMAZINGLY beautiful children. But it’s not a positive experience for me. It is very stressful and I spend a lot of time berating myself and the kids.
I need to find a way to fill up my love bucket. I need to find and follow my passion.
I’m am trying to think very hard about what it is that I can do. Working outside of the home definitely helps. But I’m not waking up filled with fire and passion about being a retail naturopath.
So I have to think a bit harder.

In the mean time, my ferments and cultures are continuing. My supplements are still being consumed.
KOMBUCHA, I’m still learning!
Water Kefir, yum.
Milk kefir, double yum!
Cultured carrots…oh my Yum!
Cultured radishes, leeks, beet kvass…. All yum!
My personal fave is milk kefir with beet kvass. Tasty.

There is always a major life event distracting me from my goal, or weak idea rather, of losing weight and reversing my diabetes.
But, I guess that just means that I haven’t cemented my ideas firmly in the universal consciousness…. I need to learn how to create affirmations and visualise my dreams in more detail, until I create a passion within myself to make my dream a reality.

A new start….

So, I haven’t blogged for a while because I struggle to find the time….and…. Not much different was happening.

Since I fell off the 30 day raw plan I had, I’ve spent my time eating ‘normal’ and thinking.

I went back on insulin cos lets face it, my normal diet sucks!

And I did a bit more research.
Kevin Gianni from Renegade Health is an inspiration and a useful source of information.
The things that stood out for me most were:
Most people ‘transition’ to raw, not just jump in blindly.
100% raw is ridiculously hard to maintain.
(I wish I’d known all this before my attempts, so I wouldn’t have ended up feeling like such a failure!)
And raw foodists have massive dental issues from constantly eating as raw food requires copious amounts of chewing to get enough nutrition and food into your system.

Also, each time I tried to go raw, I was
a. Doing it alone, with no help
b. Not doing enough research and planning.
c. Not understanding that going raw for my specific purpose of reversing diabetes would require a specific calorie controlled raw diet. Rather than living on raw desserts!
So my attempts were flawed from the start.  But hey! This whole thing is trial and error for me ?

This time though… I have a plan.

So far..

Every time I do not achieve a goal that I set out for myself…. I learn something valuable. About myself, about my journey.

It’s strange that in my late 30’s, I’m only now starting to unravel all the different parts that make up who I am, what I believe.

This is where I am at in terms of continuing my raw journey… Which I am determined to do. While it may not be for everyone, it truly and definitely is my salvation.

The key for me is to eat every 2-3 hours. This stops me from bingeing and making poor food choices.
I’ve heard preparing/organising is key. It reduces the chances of deviating from the plan. I haven’t succeeded with the planning so far, probably why I keep deviating ?
And being diabetic, I need to focus less on desserts, more on high protein options.

Daily menu:

Water with apple cider vinegar
Daily supplements

Chia porridge/raw protein drink/energy ball

Herbal tea
Kombucha/other ferment

Salad/vegetable/soup/green smoothie/juice

Fruit
Herbal tea

Crackers, cheese/ salad/mince/nut ball/fermented foods/sprouts

White choc/nuts/miso soup

I seem to lack the basic skill of self control/will power.
The second I tell myself “ok, I’m going raw” my body totally rebels. Stomach tightens mind panics. What If I feel like a slice of bread or some potato chips?!

So my plan involves surrounding myself with good influences.

My links:

Why don’t we discuss failure??

So I rarely bother facebooking, tweeting or blogging when I’m down and things are not going right…

Why?

I figured this is the reason why we’re ashamed of ‘failure’. We all know that ‘failure is a stepping stone to success’. By know it, I mean we pay lip service to the belief, but we’re still stuck in our thinking pattern of shame when we mess up.

I admire  The Orange Rhino tremendously for her sheer transparency.
It’s rare. Hopefully, I can follow in her footsteps.

What step are you on today?

I treat my body like a trash chute
I can’t imagine why
The food I eat tastes awful and doesn’t even make me vaguely happy or satisfied anymore.
I dream of raw food and how it made me feel.

The thing that’s holding me back, well there are a few things, viz
1. I’m not good with depriving myself 🙂 I don’t like to be given boundaries
2. I need more variety and excitement in my raw meals
3. Fear of failure… Theoretically I understand failure is a stepping stone to success… Emotionally, it’s still hard not to reach my goal.

What I’ve learned

So since coming off the raw food diet….
I’ve learned a number of things.

1. I miss eating raw.  I especially miss how good I felt on raw food.
2. I had nowhere to hide on this diet. Normally, I eat when I’m: sad, upset, angry, frustrated, bored, tired, pretty much all the time 🙂
On raw food, I couldn’t hide behind a packet of crisps. I was forced to experience the emotion.
3. Eating raw is one thing; but attempting an insulin reset while gorging on carbs?? Not too bright. I need to incorporate more protein, seeds, less fruits, simple carbs.
4. Cooked food that looks and smells amazing rarely tastes as good!!!!!!
5. My entire eating habits and cravings and cooking style is now obsolete. The foods I used to crave, I no longer need. My favourites in the past are no longer appealing…. Very happy about that 🙂 I’m cleaning the slate. Tabula rasa.

Conclusion, I think I really want to go back to being raw! Maybe not 100% this time. But high raw; 75-90%.

I fell

I hoped it was just a stumble and my plan was to immediately get right back on the diet….
But I didn’t. I couldn’t.

My raw diet consisted of six basic foods:
Juices
Green Smoothies
Dips
Crackers
Salads
Desserts.

All home made, all raw.
It took alot of time, alot of experimenting and shopping 🙂
When I hit day 10 and my menstrual cycle began… my mind started faltering.
I’ve seen it a million times, enough to know the value of mind over matter.
Once my mind started faltering, the diet went from super easy, to being a chore.
Until on day 19… it was a HUGE struggle. Mentally.
I found out that I hadn’t lost A SINGLE OUNCE in weight. And that my sugar was nowhere near ‘normal’.
Physically, I felt better than I have in ages. I’d gotten used to that slight (sometimes more than slight!) hunger that was ever present in my belly. I’d become addicted to new favourite foods. My Thai Basil dip and cashew cheese combo, kohlrabi OMG, radish, baby spinach juices that made my insides smile, freshly juiced veggies.
All consumed in the middle of an icy Melbourne Winter.

Choosing to eat a meal was a poor decision, especially 11 days from the finish line.
I’ve felt guilt, shame, self ridicule, and relief.
I did not know how hard the diet was til I stopped.
At the moment, I’m trying to eat the normal junk I always did, but my body doesn’t crave it anymore and it makes my belly burn. I’m adding my raw food into my normal day and I feel like I crave the cleansing.

Obviously, I was being blind to the fact that while my weight and sugar weren’t ideal, the proof was in the pudding. I felt AMAZING. My body was being cleaned. My clothes fit better. I had more energy, more patience.

I would dearly like to try again. But for now, I’m on a break :). I am going  to build up to a high raw diet of 75%…slowly. And incorporate more protein foods to help my blood sugar levels. And I’ve also started back at the gym which I struggled to cope with while trying raw foods.

Day 16 aka 53.3%

Day 10 was the first day of my cycle.
Pain. Lots of it 🙁
I kinda thought the raw diet would alleviate that?
And of course the requisite cravings…hot chips, mash potatoes with lashings of butter, hot, curried foods, pies, you name it.
Day 12. My dad’s 60th birthday…. including most of these foods!

With the tremendous support of my two stalwart cousins; I made it through the weekend and am still limping along on the raw food diet.
My sugar has remained steady at 14.4 without medication. Not ideal.
So I start back at the gym on Thursday in an attempt to push through the plateau.

30 days have never before taken such a loooong time to pass!!!

Dinner

Raw corn chips….I’ll have to try again, they didn’t taste great
Late night snacks
Unbelievably nom spiced pecan cake
Pumpkin (remarkably sweet when raw!) beetroot and onion with spicy sauce 
My ‘noodle’ maker
Avo n corn chips…
Better with basic raw cracker!
Pumpkin zuchini radish
Less kiwi would be better!
Gorgeously green and healing though.
Interstate flight for dads bday on Friday. Lunch.


Interstate flight for back home Sunday. Lunch. Pureed pumpkin with water….

Takes me an hour and a half to finish this salad…eating big portions is a chore. 
Kohlrabi ‘chips’ with paprika. Nice.

It’s the weekend baby!

Weekends are my nemesis.
We are so busy running around, so many things to do, places to go, people to see.
I find it hardest to cope with being on the diet.
AND this weekend marks the start of school holidays EEEEK
Being with the kids 24/7 for the next few weeks is going to take everything I have to keep my stress levels down.
I need to approach this holiday with a whole new mindset: one of peace, relaxation and playfulness.
I can hear my 4 year old waking up my 2 year old right now… Even though she’s saying “it’s still sleeping time” he is not taking no for an answer…. Deeeep breaths.

My absolute favourite juice
Celery carrot beetroot lashings of ginger
I had maybe 5 glasses in a day ( I have theme days!)

Cashew mayo and Coriander pesto base
Walnut meat topping with red pepper sticks
I felt super bloated after this meal!!! For the first time
on this diet ever. Not sure if the chilli from
the pesto is the problem
Or the nuts..?

Day 4 going strong!

I have finally got to a place where I have a multitude of recipes at hand AND a mind of steel 🙂
My poor supporters have only heard me whining for months about how hard going raw is and why I keep quitting.

I finally got to a place where my last binge created such a lasting impression it steeled my mind (the real source of my weakness) against all the junk.

Starting Friday night: I ate
numerous packets of potato and corn chips
Frozen fries
Frozen pizza
Garlic bread
1.5 loaves of bread
Half a jar of chilli mango pickle
Mountains of rice etc etc

By Sunday night I started looking for raw food cos I felt sooo ill from all the junk.
My joints were hurting, hands and face were swollen. Stomach hugely bloated. Throat sore. Tired. Cranky and short tempered. Slow… My brain was moving at snail pace. My belly hurt and really hated me. All that bread was just sitting on my chest and wouldn’t go down. I’ve had trouble digesting wheat for years but continue to crave and eat it.
Through trying raw on and off in the last year, my craving have begun to change. The above list of food was my hedonistic dream in the past. I still crave food now but I crave home made instead. Traditional Gujarati food. It’s a relief. I’ve eaten enough chips and pizza to fill 5 lifetimes.

The result of the binge:
My heart lifts at the sight of the leftover junk food all over the house; my stomach immediately responds with a nauseous churning. Making me immediately turn right around and walk the hell away.
That means I can now live with junk food all around me and still stick to my diet.
YAY!

Breakfast today…yum!

Mushroom pate.. So good I almost didn’t wait to take a pic! Just gobbled it up after.

Raw cracker prep in dehydrator. Essential for a raw diet. Really filling and a good way to add texture to all the blended foods.

Super simple but sooooo filling. The sauce is heaven for me.
Thai basil, lemongrass mixed into a cashew cheese.
Will post recipe one day 🙂

Celery spirulina chlorella…. Tastes like sand. But my belly n body is glowing.

Celery kinda day!! Can’t wait to juice it. With carrot ginger beetroot.

Caramel tartlet. Didn’t even wait to put on the choc topping layer… Yummo!!

Another super simple salad transcended cos of my favourite sauce.

Corn avo coriander raw soup…hmmm…work in progress. My raw food always tastes bitter… Need to figure out how to balance it!

Day One

For the 165th time (or so it feels)
Based on the documentary Simply Raw: reversing diabetes in 30 days; I have attempted a raw food diet many many times in the last 12 months.
I am using a very empirical, close-your-eyes-and-jump-right-in, trial and error method rather than researching the raw diet thoroughly. Hence my many false starts.
Day one is always easy…. This time my focus is 100%.
Through each mis- trial I’ve discovered new ammunition to help me stay the course.
Doing this diet in winter is probably not the smartest idea.
I have honed my focus and determination to a pure unyielding laserbeam. My dads 60th in 11 days is a great motivator. I’m hoping once I reach day 11 something else exciting will help me extend the diet…wish me luck!!
 
Raw crackers, cashew cheese and raw pecan pie to finish 🙂
Dog tired.

My shame… And my salvation

Every single time I “fail”
I learn something about why
And how I can do better next time

Like the guy who created electricity…. Tried a couple thousand times before the bulb lit up
I’m hoping to keep my trials to single figures :):)

 

Vegan Gluten Free Jalapeno Poppers

 


Ingredients:
Fresh Jalapeno chillies
Tofutti better than cream cheese
Besan/chickpea  flour
Salt
White pepper/Chilli powder
Method:
Slit fresh jalapeno peppers down the side
Stuff the pepper with tofutti better than cream cheese (you can add other flavours to the cream cheese eg.  dairy cheese; herbs, bacon, etc)
Make a thick paste with the besan flour. If the paste is too thin, it won’t coat the glossy chilli!
Add salt and pepper or a pinch of chilli powder to the paste.
Dip stuffed jalapenos into batter, coat well and then deep fry.
Nb. I have tried using soy milk and almond meal to coat the peppers…it can be done but it’s a bit tricky! It’s an option if you don’t enjoy the taste of besan flour.

 

 

Vegan Guacamole

Fantastic, relatively healthy quick-n-easy dip – great to get your omega’s while being a little bit naughty J
Ingredients:
Avocado
Lemon juice
Salt
White Pepper
Tabasco
Tofutti supreme sour (optional)
Method:
Mash 3 x Avocado
Add  teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
4 drops of Tabasco (or more to your taste)
Mix thoroughly
Then add 2 tablespoons of Tofutti supreme sour cream (or more to your taste)
Optional Extra:Stir through one more avocado that has been cubed to add texture!
Enjoy!

Soya Mince Curry

Soya Mince Curry
Marinating ingredients:
Tumeric
Chilli powder
Coriander powder
Cumin powder
Cooking Ingredients:
Oil
Fennel Seeds
Fresh Red Chilli
Ginger paste
Garlic paste
Tumeric
Chilli powder
Coriander powder
Cumin powder
Mince Prep:
Soak soya mince in hot water with salt and vinegar
Drain well and squeeze out excess water
Marinate in spices for as long as you can.
Heat saucepan.  Add oil, once hot add all the spices. Fry spices for 3minutes.
Add mince. Coat mince with all the fried spices and cook til mince browns.
Accompaniment:
          Rice
          Naan bread
          Roti
          Lemon pickle 

Rye Bread with Goats Cheese and Avocado

This yummy snack-wich is great if you’re on-the-go and need something filling, quick – or if you’re looking for something tasty to munch on between meals….
Rye bread grilled/toasted
Torn lettuce leaves
Chunky avocado cubes
Marinated goats cheese
Sliced spring onion
Garnished with: Coriander leaves, fresh ground black pepper; extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar!

 

Coffee…

I very rarely drink coffee….and today I have had a rather strong one for the second day in a row.
I have been on a rollercoaster of manic highs with nervous energy and aggression and depressive lows with lethargy and exhaustion…
I can see the appeal – I feel like I can take on the world when the high hits. I can zoom through all of my work and be as sharp as a tack, on the ball and very, very motivated.  However, as a diabetic, the crazy blood sugar level swings will end up killing me! Bottom line, I ought to continue saving coffee for special occasions – my liver will thank me JJ
This experience gives me a brilliant insight into the damage caused by this innocent beverage to people’s bodies and minds. As my liver is fairly overloaded, I imagine that my reaction in amplified compared to most. I still believe though that regular consumption of coffee alters hormones and other bodily functions in a very negative way.

Just back!

We’ve just returned from an awesome but jam-packed holiday in Qld, touring all the theme parks. Of course being on holiday meant that I ate all sorts of food that my body cant handle 🙁 Feeling very very exhausted and have alot of repairing ahead of me…

Curry in a hurry – tamato base for Indian curries

I like to prepare this curry base and freeze it in portions, making it very easy to put together an Indian lentil/bean curry in a hurry! I usually make double or more of this recipe.
Heat a heavy-based saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of oil.
Fry ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds, as soon as they start popping, add sliced onion (½ medium sized)
When the onion is translucent/clear add your spices:
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon coriander powder
and a pinch of cinnamon
Allow the spices to fry in the oil for a minute.
Then add your tomatoes. These can be chopped fresh (3 large) or canned* (1-2 cans of whole/diced) which when cooked you can blend with a stick blender to puree.
I also add ½ teaspoon of ginger paste and the same of garlic paste (ground fresh is best tho!)
I allow the tomatoes to cook for 10-15minutes and then blend them into a sauce which I simmer for another 5-10minutes.
At the start of the recipe before you add the onion; you have the option of adding fresh curry leaves (available from Indian stores or good grocers) for a more authentic flavour and dry red whole chillies if you like spicy food.
Once cooled, I freeze this base in portions (½ can of tomato per portion). When in a super hurry, I just add one portion to a can of beans or lentils; cook for 15minutes and garnish with coriander.  

* Processed tomatoes have higher levels of lycopene, which is an antioxidant, in them.

All these ingredients can be found instore, alternatively, I can make up a package with the ingredients and exact measurements for this recipe

Addiction Food

Visiting the kitchen soon! will def update you all on the great food they make.
Addiction food specialises in products that are not only Gluten Free but also Dairy and Egg Free so Allergy sufferers and Vegans can have their cake and eat it to!! Great job guys 🙂

Ruby Fruit

Rubyfruit is a boutique bakery based in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. They specialise in egg-free, dairy-free vegan indulgence. Baked goods that include
Choc-Raspberry Bliss Cake
Dark Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins
Choc-almond Chunk Cookies
Fluffy White Cupcakes
Ginger Sparkles
White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins
White Chocolate and Macadamia Muffins
Banana Rumba
Blueberry and lemon baked Cheesecake
Caramel mudcake
White chocolate mud cakes
Blueberry and dark chocolate muffins
Choc-raspberry Bliss Cupcakes
Cherry ripe baked cheesecake
and many many more………..!!