Every time I lose track of eating healthy, I begin to feel like shit, and I have to remind myself to get back on track. This usually happens when I work an excessive amount, because by the time I get home at night I’m not willing to cook, so I grab something easy but not necessarily nutritious. So today, my first day off in 8 days, I decided to eat mostly raw.

I love eating raw foods, but during the winter months I tend to stay away from them. The quality of raw meals are based on the quality of the ingredients you use because you’re not cooking anything. Luckily, as spring continues onward, supermarkets are getting better fruits and vegetables.

Raw foods make me feel clear-headed and focused, and I love finishing a meal and not feeling weighed down by the things I just ate. I also love being able to taste every component of a recipe. Raw meals can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and you don’t need a Vita-Mix or Excalibur Dehydrator to make varied and delicious raw recipes. The food I made today was super easy.

Breakfast – Orange Carob Chia Pudding 

Chia pudding is hard to make pretty.

Originally, I had planned on having a carob-orange smoothie for breakfast, but as crazy as it sounds, there are no ice cube trays in this apartment. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to use my brother’s crazy blender. So I made my idea into chia pudding! And it was great and satisfying.

Chia seeds are an amazing superfood, full of minerals and nutrients our bodies need. Chia also contains a ridiculous amount of protein. Most health-food stores now carry chia seeds, and you can also order them from numerous places online. I love chia for breakfast because of how filling it is (one small bowl and I’m great until lunch), and if you google chia seed recipes you’ll find hundreds. Here’s mine:

Carob-Orange Chia Seed Pudding (serves 1)
1/4 cup walnuts, soaked for at least 1 hour
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 Tbs raw carob powder
1/2 Tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup water

Drain the walnuts.  Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend on high until creamy. Top with fresh fruit.

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Lunch – Mango Mayo Wrap and Kale Chips

Lunch was raw except for the baked kale chips, but who cares? The wrap was a variation of this recipe from Megan Elizabeth. I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, so I left those out, but I did add some curry powder to the “mayo”. Inside the wrap I used alfalfa sprouts, red pepper, and carrot shavings (made with a vegetable peeler). Megan used tomato in her wrap, but since I was having tomato for dinner, I left it out. I’ve found that because of their acidity, my body can’t handle more than one tomato every couple days.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s low-fat. I ended up eating 3 collard wraps (my leaves were small), and along with the kale chips, I ended up satisfied without being full.  Oh, and if you’d like a tutorial on rolling up collard wraps, there’s a great one over at Choosing Raw.

The wraps were really tasty, and you guys already know how much I love mango.

I don’t have a dehydrator, so I baked my kale chips, but I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. They were delicious. I wanted something other than the salt and vinegar style chips I usually make, so I came up with the following recipe. You can add soaked cashews if you want for a creamier texture, but I wanted to keep it lower in fat. The flavor the herbs gave to the dressing reminded me a little of Ranch, but much thinner.

Ranchy Kale Chips
2 cups kale, washed and de-stemmed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, skin removed
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 300. Combine all the ingredients (except kale) in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Toss kale with the dressing, and then lay on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy. Enjoy immediately.

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Dinner: Zucchini Noodles with Raw Vodka Sauce, and Salad

Dinner was so yummy! The recipe for the zucchini noodles with raw “vodka” sauce is from Bonzai Aphrodite. The sauce was so good I wanted to eat it with a spoon as if it were soup! I had a perfectly ripe tomato to work with, and along with the sun-dried tomatoes, the flavor was so vibrant. The cashews added the creaminess.

I ate it alongside a very simple baby green and sprout salad.

(The picture sucks because I had already started eating it before I remembered to take a picture. I was really hungry!)

Overall, it was a great day filled with delicious fresh-tasting food. I feel great! What are your thoughts on raw food?

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