Raw Food Challenge: Week 1 Recap

by agirlandhermutt on December 8, 2014

I’m writing this while my chia seeds and steel cut oats soak in almond milk. Seriously. I’ve become that girl. Both of these items are near the bottom of my “Things I Love” list. I don’t dislike either one of them, but they were never my go-to items for breakfast. I prefer items like eggs. And bacon. ;)

BUT! I’ve committed to a 21 Day Raw Challenge. I know, I know. I do challenges of some sorts all of the time. I like some guidance in what I am doing and I also really love the community that comes with a challenge. So sue me.

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Lets chat about this challenge because I think there is probably some confusion and honestly, some serious eye rolling happening when the words “raw food” are thrown around.

A few weeks ago a Facebook friend of mine was posting about some results she had from a raw food challenge that she and her husband were participating in. He had some health issues and needed to make some big changes so they did. In a big way!

Secretly, I’m obsessed with the raw food YouTube community. I love watching videos from Easy To Be Raw, FullyRaw Kristina and High Carb Hannah and on occasion, Freelee the Banana Girl. My fascination is in some way out of interest in eating raw, but also because I think all of these folks have a touch of the crazy. But who doesn’t, right?! They are all really entertaining.

So when my friend mentioned this challenge I decided to take a look at the Sneak Peek guide that she posted. The biggest thing that stood out to me was what the Motiv8 America Raw Food Challenge was about and more intrestingly, NOT about:

This challenge is designed to help you:
• Develop healthier eating habits
• Reset your system
• Become more conscious and mindful about what you eat
• Help you kick the diet mentality
• Change the way you think about food.
• Teach you how to create your own weekly meal plan
• Set you up for Success!
• CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

This challenge is NOT designed to:
• Try to turn you into a Raw Vegan or Vegetarian
• Give you strict food guidelines to abide by
• Make you feel deprived or hungry

As I read more, I realized that this was an introduction into the raw food lifestyle that I was looking for. Some of the meals are what they call “50/50” meals that include cooked quinoa and cooked veggies. Perfect!

I’m not interested in eating 100% raw. I’m not interested in becoming a vegan full-time. BUT! I am interested in learning how my body reacts to no dairy, higher carbs, more veggies than normal and how to make raw meals. Will they taste good? What will my grocery bill look like? Will all that fiber make me bloat up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float (spoiler alert: Yes, the answer is yes.)

If you remember, I had a vegetarian diet for MANY years. Probably a little over 10 years? If I had to give myself a label it would have been better to call me a “Carbatarian”. I ate pasta. And potatoes. I thought I didn’t know how to eat healthy, but a more accurate description would be to say that I was too lazy to eat healthy. The result? I gained a crap ton of weight. Obviously, I don’t want to go back down that road.

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This challenge gives an outline of what to eat for the first 2 weeks and then a guide on how to make your own plan for the last week. Again, Perfect! I had no intentions on eating a bunch of oranges and bananas and calling it a day. I need guidance!

At the end of November I signed up and the challenge started on Monday, December 1st.

Monday- Great!
Tuesday- Great! Then I went out with my friends and had wine and food. But! I stuck to vegan and gluten free items. I consider it a win!
Wednesday- Sunday- Great!

I managed to stay vegan and gluten free for an entire week. I AM SHOCKED! I have had on my list of things To Do in life “Go Vegan for a Week” for YEARS. I always assumed it would be nearly impossible for me to give up dairy (specifically cheese!). But I was totally wrong! Maybe it was a bit easier because The Husband wasn’t around, but in general, I didn’t feel too tempted. Well, except for the wine. ;)

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But how do I feel? I’m definitely feeling lighter. I lost about 4lbs over the week. I know at least 3 lbs was water weight though. I feel fuller and satisfied throughout the day. I don’t find myself craving something specific come 3p like I normally would. I don’t have any more energy than I normally do. Actually I felt a bit more tired. Honestly, I’m not sure if that is because of the food OR that I’m feeling a little lonely at home? I I haven’t had some of the regular stomach issues that I do normally. I have an iffy digestive system. So far, so good on that front! However, I have felt bloated on several of the days right before bed. Oh, and my grocery bill was ridiculous. I have a ton of leftovers for week2! Right now I’m about 50/50 on both positive and less than positive results.

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Monday starts Week 2 of the challenge. All the shopping lists and meals are spelled out really well. I’ve already learned a few things in week 1 that I will be taking with me into the new week.

-Peanut butter has no place in my home. I just can’t control myself. I don’t even really like peanut butter that much! But for some reason, I can’t keep my spoon out of the jar.

-I still prefer a less sweet breakfast. I’ve actually started to enjoy the whole soaked oats breakfast and have been subbing that out for the more fruit dominated smoothies.

-I miss chicken sausage and shrimp.

-Frozen strawberries in a smoothie are not my friend. They taste bitter and fizzy to me.

-Avocado is just as great as I thought it was before this challenge.

-A crap ton of veggies can make you really gassy. Truth.

-It is totally possible to eat out as a vegan without having to go to the weird vegetarian restaurant in town. I mean I knew this, but I appreciate that I proved it to myself.

-My knowledge about food was a little more extensive than I thought. I was surprised to find that I already ate/hand on hand many of the items that were listed in the shopping list for week 1.

-I don’t like carrots. I don’t like them cooked (shudder) and I don’t like them raw. Parents! Take note…don’t read this and then try to prove that I do like them by cooking those weird honey glazed carrots. Not cool. I’m onto you!

-I still don’t approve of fruit with savory foods. Apples in a salad? Nope. I tried it and I still don’t like it. Don’t even think about sticking mandarin slices on my salad. Get of here with that mess!

-I’m really glad that I live in an area where fresh produce and other “health food” items are readily available. Many of the folks in the Facebook challenge group had to order things like chia seeds and hemp seeds off of Amazon. I bought mine at the regular ol’ grocery store.

-My love for candy is intense. Sigh.

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I’ll definitely be back at the end of Week 2 to let you know how it went! You can follow along with some of my meals over on Instagram. Check out one of my fave meals, Raw Chipotle-like dinner!


Parsnips, nuts & seeds, and guac!

See ya soon!

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Getting into the holiday spirit

by agirlandhermutt on December 4, 2014

Hello, hello, hello! Back when I actually blogged on a regular basis I would tell you what I was actually up to in my real life. You know, fun things. Since I apparently have decided to become a crappy blogger, that has kind of gone out the window. But I’ve done some really fun things in the last week that I wanted to share so I’m going to do just that!

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I don’t have a real Thanksgiving Day recap. My husband and I went out to dinner followed by drinks in Harvard Square. It sounds much sadder than it really was.

We had a good time, had good food and didn’t have to worry about leftovers. Friday was a regular work day for me and he left for a long trip half way across the world. Not exactly conducive to eating leftover turkey sandwiches while laying on your couch in your pjs. No one wants to eat turkey sandwiches and stuffing all alone.

Although I wasn’t too heartbroken about not having to cook a big huge turkey (booo hooo!), I did miss all the glorious sides that go with Thanksgiving. I got it in my head to throw a “Leftovers Party” for my girlfriends and I the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

One can not throw a party during the holidays without having some form of holiday cheer/decorations. I was a little bummed out that the Husband was gone on Friday night so I went to Home Depot and bought out their entire Christmas decorations section of the store. Retail therapy at its finest.

No, we don’t have a single photo on our walls in the living room. We are undecisive…and lazy. Mostly lazy. ;)

If you aren’t familiar with houses in Boston, everything is old. It takes a little getting used to when you move from somewhere like Florida where everything is new, but it ends up giving the house tons of character. For instance, those purple walls and wallpaper wouldn’t be my first choice in a house I owned, but in a rental? Sure, why not.

Several of my family and friends gifted us with lovely items from our Crate & Barrel registry that I was able to bust out and use. I LOVE the simple, but classic look of their serving dishes.


Truffle Deviled Eggs (recipe from Real Girl’s Kitchen by Haley Duff)

Ironically, there was only one person who actually brought leftovers. The rest of us ended up making food for the get-together. Figures.

My contributions to the dinner included Personal Sized Garlic Monkey Bread, Sautéed Brussels & Prosciutto, Funeral Potatoes/Hashbrown Casserole and Apple Pie Roll-Ups. I enjoyed every single one of these dishes!

Who doesn’t enjoy an entirely beige meal?! CARBS!CARBS!CARBS!

My friend, Karen, makes a standout Turkey Enchilada dish and Tiffany brought over Mashed Potato Stuffing. Ummm…I’m never eating stuffing without mashed potatoes insides the dish ever again. What have I been doing with my life?!

Oh, and the best part?! We wore pjs. Really, all dinner parties should include sitting around in your stretchy pants with no bra on.

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To keep the holiday spirit alive, the same group met up on Tuesday for a night of painting (and wine) at The Paint Bar.

I have about a million paintings that I’ve done at The Paint Bar lying around my house so we have been trying to hit up the more unique projects that they have been hosting. The last time we painted was back in September when we went apple picking and painted a tote bag. This time it was a Christmas Countdown!

Didn’t we all do a pretty good job?! I love how they are essentially the same project but with little hints of our own personality in each of them!

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In other news…I decided to mark #8 off my 34 While 34 list, Eat vegan for a week. A Facebook friend kept mentioning a 21 Day Raw Food Challenge that she was taking part in so I figured that I would give it a try. It isn’t 100% raw (there is some quinoa and a few other cooked goodies), but it does introduce the idea of raw meals and is 100% vegan. I’m on Day 4 of the challenge and things are moving along swimmingly!

My house is loaded up to the roof with produce and other raw foods!

This is a little sneak peek at one of my meals from the other night. It is the Almost Raw Rainbow Bowl. There is raw sweet potato, carrots, salsa, quinoa and hummus in this bad boy. I’ve been posting pictures of my meals over on Instagram if you want to see more.

I’ll keep ya posted on how it goes. It certainly is an interesting (and gassy) challenge and one that I’ll be super proud to say that I finished. You all know how I love a good challenge!

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Last topic to update you on…Korky!

Long story short, he is depressed without his buddy here.

My husband is his BFF and he is missing him something fierce. I am definitely his mom, but he is like his cool uncle that he prefers hanging out with more than me. I’m the one who remembers to give him his pills, apply his ear ointment, etc. You know, all the things he really doesn’t like to do.

If you are looking for Kork at any point in the day, he is in one of his beds.

Poor little nugget. Hopefully he cheers up sooner rather than later.

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I hope you guys are having a good week! Talk to you soon!

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Currently: Thanksgiving 2014

November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! I hope you all had a nice holiday with friends and family. The Husband and I decided to just lay low and go out to eat. We have been PACKED to the brim with things on our To Do lists and just didn’t want to have another stressful day. It was perfect! […]

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