Beating the Cheat

I have been working with a certain someone via email on making better lifestyle choices. We have been following a very loose interpretation of the raw food cleanse I did last month. I have been focusing mainly on exercising more and doing mindfulness work to get my mental state less on the crazy side. She has been mainly working on food and stress related issues. A few days ago she emailed me sounding rather frustrated. She had tried to eat healthy all day, but then got home at night, tired and overwhelmed, and as she put it, “totally sick of avocados.” So instead of eating a dinner packed full of vegetables, she ate 2 and a half bowls of processed, sugary cereal.

I think this is something many of us can relate too.

Looking over her food logs for the week it was clear that she was relying on a rather short list of foods. Orange juice, chopped vegetables, almonds, plain pop corn, protein shake, (made with water, blech! I say.) coffee, and the famed avocado. She would do good during at work, then come home and it would be all over.

I emailed her some suggestions for shaking things up in the hopes it would help in the evenings. I thought I would share these with all of you.

Here they are:

Get some frozen organic berries and whiz them up in the blender with your orange juice. Get a few different kinds and mix it up each morning. I also like to add some hemp seeds for good fats and protein. Often markets will have bananas that are starting to get brown on clearance. These are great to peel, break into pieces and put in a ziploc bag in the freezer and add to your juices. If they don’t have any clearance bananas out, ask someone in produce if they have any. Beck likes the frozen bananas as popsicles. I just take a piece out of the bag, stick a toothpick in the end, and hand it over. You could spread a nut butter on it for some protein.

Carry around a bag of raw mixed nuts and dried fruit to snack on.

Nori sheets (the seaweed you use to wrap sushi in) are a great snack when you want something savory and salty. Beck and I eat them plain all the time.

Are you adding anything to your chopped veggies? They are great plain, but sometimes you need a little extra. Sprinkle on some herbs or spices and drizzle a bit of olive oil on it. I just discovered a “Flower pepper” at Trader Joe’s. It is in a little clear grinder and has black pepper and dried flower petals in it. It is really interesting in a good way. They also have a lemon pepper, 21 spice blend and some tasty salts. Definitely worth the investment. You can flavor up all kinds of things with them, raw and cooked.

Something I discovered the last time I did the cleanse was how much I liked tahini and that it can go on more than just falafel. Make a thin tahini sauce with lemon and water and use it as a dressing for salads. Or make it a bit thicker and use it as a dip for veggies. You can make a milk out of it as well. I don’t know the ratio, but I think it is just tahini and water in the blender. This might be good for you to mix with your protein powder.

Think about getting a magic bullet or something similar for the office. Then you can make drinks, soups, and other things. Personally, I don’t have one, but anyone I know who does is constantly talking about it.

Look around for more raw ideas. There are tons of recipes online. A friend clued me in to http://www.rawfoodnation.org/ that looks like a gold mine. Your local library might have a few raw recipe books. Even if they don’t you can look in the salad and appetizer sections of just about any cookbook and find some new ideas. Try looking into various world cuisines to see how they eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Let the flavor party begin!

One more thing, when you get home from a long, stressful day at work is not the time to figure out what you will have for dinner. Have things ready. Cut vegetables, measure out spices, and otherwise prepare. Prep a salad the night before, just don’t add any dressing and it should hold ok. Or at least have something healthy like a piece of fruit as soon as you walk in the door so you don’t find yourself snacking on chips while you make dinner.

Hope this helps!

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