Grocery Store Questions and Other Raw Experiences

>> Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I bet all of you raw foodies/JFers have all experienced at least once a stranger asking you in the grocery store what a particular item is that’s in your basket or what on earth are you doing with all that produce! Am I right?

It’s happened to me a time or two. Sometimes they think we’re making lots of pies because why else would someone have all that fruit?! I’m usually asked about young Thai coconuts too. Questions range from “what is that?” and “what do you do with that?” and “how do you eat it?”

Prickly pears are another good conversation starter or eyebrow-raiser.

Today however it was all about aloe vera leaves. I was checking out the fresh aloe vera leaves when an older man on the other side of the veggie display asked me what I was holding. He was so curious he asked me if he could take a closer look then asked what I used it for and was it edible, etc. Very inquisitive. He was so excited that he had learned something new. He then told me that it must be working for me and to keep eating it because I looked healthy. Aw shucks! And since we were talking about eating healthy he proudly told me he eats a grapefruit every morning and had been doing that for years.

It’s fun to share information but usually I don’t know enough about the item and its health benefits to go rambling on but I suppose that’s a good thing sometimes.

Speaking of rambling on, another experience I’ve had, which means you probably have experienced this in one way or another, is talking with someone who is not on the same page as you when it comes to what you eat.

Awhile back, a woman asked me about something I was eating at lunch and I told her it was vegan (not raw) but did tell her about eating raw too. At the time, my interpretation of her reaction was that this was not well received; she seemed to frown and lose interest in our conversation (the standard question “if you don’t eat meat how do you get your protein?” was asked).

Well…the other day she noticed I had lost weight and asked if it was due to being vegan. Why yes as a matter of fact! but I also had to explain to her I’m not always vegan and/or raw but try to be high raw vegan as much as possible, if not more. So this led to other questions from her and even asked how she could find more info on the subject. I wrote down some things for her to research or check online. Obviously, I was wrong to assume she wasn’t interested.

I realized afterwards that whenever she’d ask me a question I’d give mile long answers (or it seemed like it). Not sure if you’ve noticed this special trait of mine here on this blog but I tend to RAMBLE on and on. This is not a new revelation for me. To anyone else it may not be so obvious. Kidding! Call it HiHoRosiespeak. Funny thing is if I’m not rambling on some people think something’s wrong.

Note to self: stick to the point when asked questions.

I just hope I didn’t turn her off from looking into raw foods by overloading her with unnecessary information or info she wasn’t ready for. Hopefully, she’ll find what interests and works for her.

Still it was very flattering to be asked about my healthy choices and share with strangers the adventures of unfamiliar foods; foods that are healthy, fun and yummy.


Oh and did you watch American Idol last night? Holey moley! Paula Abdul confused me with her critique of Jason's yet-to-be-sung song choice. I thought I had missed something. No, just Paula missing something. ha ha! And Jason, I'm sorry, but it's time for you to go home.

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Get Out Your iPods!

>> Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I filched this from Pixywinks’ blog and it's not Friday - is this allowed?! Ha ha. Looks fun so I thought I’d play. Feel free to swipe this too if you’d like. Rules are to hit ‘shuffle’ on your iPod or MP3 player then answer each question by hitting ‘next.’ No cheating!

I feel I should preface this by saying my so-called MP3 player is my PDA phone, which doesn’t possess the best shuffling capabilities so I will just go with what comes up but don’t be surprised if you see repeat artists (if it's the same song I'll skip)….I actually do have lots of different music on it!

Q: What does next year have in store for you?
A: Steam Engenius – Modest Mouse

Q: What does your love life look like next year?
A: Ocean of Noise – Arcade Fire

Q: What do you say when life gets hard?
A: Windowsill – Arcade Fire

Q: Song that reminds you of good times?
A: Giddy Up – The Hives (lol)

Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning?
A: Heroine – Blonde Redhead (hmmm….no need for concern folks! The drug version is spelled without the last e – whew!)

Q: What song will you dance to at your wedding (or wedding anniversary?)
A: Daylight - Coldplay

Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss?
A: Pace is the Trick - Interpol

Q: Your favorite saying?
A: Length of Love - Interpol

Q: Favorite place?
A: Australia – The Shins (Ooh! This is a good one. I bet it would be my favorite place if I’d been there before!)

Q: Most missed memory?
A: Spitting Venom – Modest Mouse (don't think so...)

Q: What song describes your best friend?
A: I Close My Eyes – Hard-Fi (good thing it wasn't the last one!)

Q: What song decribes your ex?
A: Sing for Absolution – Muse (huh.)

Q: Where would you go on an important date?
A: Black Wave – The Shins

Q: Drug of choice?
A: Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

Q: What song describes yourself?
A: Knights of Cydonia - Muse

Q: What is the thing you like doing most?
A: Rest My Chemistry - Interpol

Q: The song that best describes the President?
A: We Are Pilots – Shiny Toy Guns (uh…)

Q: Where will you be in 10 years?
A: Slow Down – Nada Surf

Q: Your love life right now?
A: Forest Fire – Editors (Hot cha cha cha!!)

Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment?
A: In My Place – Coldplay (yep!)

Q: How will you die?
A: Til Kingdom Come - Coldplay

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Love Is...

>> Monday, April 28, 2008

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Toot Toot!

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have something to toot about, as in tooting my own horn. I have officially dropped two pant sizes. WOO HOO!

My current jeans were starting to fall down and looking very unflattering, like I had a saggy seat. I hate it when I have to fight my clothes either to keep them up or to untuck them from one of my rolls. Hee hee! Good fitting clothes are always flattering no matter what size and right now I have a lot of unflattering clothes so I was happy to have some jeans that fit.

An observation I’ve made recently is now that I’ve been losing weight I see MORE of my old size than before. I used to always have a really tough time finding my size in stores. Not sure what this means exactly; if it means there are more larger sizes available now or if it means now that I’ve shrunk a little I just notice my old size more. Like when you’re looking for that perfect black skirt and it’s nowhere to be found but as soon as you stop looking for it or no longer need it, it seems to be everywhere!

Anyway, I’m just enjoying the fact I’m a size I haven’t been in a long time. Wow, just typing that right now got me emotional. I’m just really happy.

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Attack of the Clones?

>> Monday, April 21, 2008

Swiped this from Keely:


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
11
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

http://howmanyofme.com">How many have your name?



Now, I just need to enlist one or two of these "me's" to go to work for me and clean house and anything else deemed unpleasant or boring. ha ha!

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I'm So NOT a GEEK

>> Saturday, April 19, 2008

I took this test by way of my sister's blog and it proved what I've always known about myself:

25% Geek


Now, if this was a test for being a dork, then maybe I'd score higher. ha ha!

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Where O’ Where Has Spring Gone to?

O’ where o’ where could it be?

Yeah, it’s not here. At least, not this week. We’ve been having some whack-a-doodle weather lately and yesterday was one of those days.


Snow


Rain

Hail

Sun breaks

Snow/slush/rain

Isn’t spring supposed to look like this?



Instead it looked like this yesterday.

This is beyond the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” I’m sitting at my computer with a scarf on. Wonder where my gloves are?

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Not Everything I Make Turns to Yummy Goodness

>> Friday, April 18, 2008

I’ve been thinking about today’s topic this past week and then lo and behold I see a topic of the same nature started by the always lovely and funny Beppa of 123Raw. BTW, if you’re not a member you should join. It’s fun and very social yet helpful and supportive.

Update: sorry two of the above links don't work unless you're a member and already logged in but the 123Raw link should work for those interested.

My favorite sister in the whole wide world has commented before how different we are in the kitchen. She’s the type that can make things up as she goes and rarely measures anything. Me, I’m the type who does follow a recipe and measures most things because frankly, I don’t trust myself (of course there are exceptions). I’m not that confident in the kitchen to just wing it. When things need to be tweaked I usually call on hubby to taste test and then fix it with what it needs then it turns out great. If it wasn’t for him sometimes, I’d still be in the kitchen trying to make marinara sauce and probably have about 10 cups of the stuff because I kept adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that to get it just right.

So even though I’m no culinary chef I do love being in the kitchen trying new recipes. I would say most come out pretty good, with or without extra hubby-help.

However……….there are times when things are just beyond help. For instance, I recently tried what I’m sure is a fantastic recipe for chocolate pudding. I won’t reference the (un)cookbook I got it from but I will say that it called for TWO TABLESPOONS of vanilla extract (see pic below). I halved the recipe so this means…*gets out calculator*…two divided by two equals ONE. One tablespoon of vanilla extract. Does that seem like a lot to you? It did to me but I’m following the recipe darn it so it’s not my fault if it doesn’t work out.
I had to include this picture to show the "proof is in the pudding!" Nah-nah-nah-nahh!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love vanilla. Back in my old days of baking cookies and cakes I’d always double the amount of vanilla the recipe called for but my first instinct on this raw pudding was this is too much to begin with.

Man, I ramble a lot…

So when blending this together I sampled the pudding. Blech! It tasted like vanilla alcohol. I finished blending and put it in the fridge in hopes it would settle and mellow. It did a little. Hubby liked it okay but for me I just kept tasting vanilla extract. Aside from that, I think the pudding is a winning recipe. Next time I might try a scraped vanilla bean or decrease the extract by at least half.

The other mishap I had in making something was following a recipe for stuffed Anaheim peppers. This is not Ani Phyo’s recipe btw, which I’ve had (hubby made) and those are d-lish. The recipe I followed is from another cookbook. Again, I won’t reference because I don’t want it to seem as though I’m slamming the authors (both cookbooks I used are awesome and I would recommend to anyone). It just so happens I tried a recipe that didn’t work for me.

You might recognize the photo on the left if you have this particular book. See how it’s supposed to look? And see how mine ended up? Gross! Not even close!
Which would you eat?
Yeah, I know I didn’t make all the stuff on top that they did but I had already spent a lot of time on this - looks like I over-"cooked" them too.

It’s stuffed with a cashew cheese then covered in a macadamia nut batter (which I actually liked). We love nut cheeses, ones we’ve tweaked anyway, but this was too much! The guacamole I put on top of it was good though. Ha ha! I won’t be making this again. Looks better in their photo so I feel a little tricked.

As a side note, when working with peppers no matter how mild you might think they are (exception are bell peppers) ALWAYS wear gloves. Always always always! Anaheims aren’t hot to me but when cleaning out the membranes and seeds, yeah they’re HOT. Cha cha cha hot. My fingers were seriously burning up for several hours. It was like as though I had played tug of war and ended up with rope burns.

So while the overall stuffed pepper meal wasn’t the worst we've had it was just a lot of work for less than so-so results. We didn’t even save the leftovers. Expensive waste.

Mishaps happen (say that fast one time…or twice if you’re talented) but tomorrow’s another day in the kitchen at the dehydrator, juicer or Vita-Mix.

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Organic vs. Conventional

>> Thursday, April 17, 2008

With regards to my previous post, Love Is, I have to tell you those were some of the best fresh strawberries I have tasted in a very looooooooooong time.

How long has it been for you when you last had a fresh strawberry or even a fresh tomato that tasted as good as it looked? So often I’d pick some up (not always organic) because they looked so red and juicy only to get home and discover they have zero flavor. Maybe even the texture or scent of the fruit is off too.

Recently, I’ve seen/read various articles or headlines about eating organic foods – such as which fruits and vegetables (another article included meat) you should consider buying organic versus conventional, so you probably have seen these also.

Over at
123Raw there was a thread started about buying organic foods and Beppa, Empress of 123Raw, included a list of organic foods you should consider when at the grocery store or market.

I tried importing the list here so you wouldn't have to click on the link but I have no idea how to do that!

So if you checked the list strawberries are #6 as one of the worst fruits you can buy if not organic.

I have also read some “myths” about organic foods. That it’s a myth organic tastes better than conventional. I’m here to debunk the debunk! Maybe with some fruits and veggies you can't taste the difference but I know with organic strawberries and organic tomatoes I can definitely taste a difference. They taste real. They are sweet and juicy and just like they should be. How can organic NOT taste better than conventional?! Do people like the taste of chemicals and pesticides? I bet not. So that’s a dumb myth IMHO.

Now, in a perfect world all fruits and veggies would be pesticide-free and organic by its true definition and would also be affordable. But alas, they’re not. Sigh.

When it’s difficult to buy everything organic because it’s either not available or it’s too expensive hopefully this list will come in handy when/if you have to pick and choose.

We’re starting a garden that will be FULL of tomatoes and hopefully, sweet bell peppers too. Finding organic bell peppers has been tricky lately and when I do find them they are so stinkin expensive!

So anyway, I fell in love with those organic strawberries. One right after another was so sweet. Not gassed or whatever to look pretty for consumers but authentic. And at $4 a pound I thought it was a pretty sweet deal considering the conventional, flavorless ones weren’t much cheaper. Sweet indeed.

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Love Is...

>> Wednesday, April 16, 2008


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Whaaaat?

>> Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today’s post is about American Idol so for those who don’t watch or don’t care I give you permission to ignore this (like it was needed – hee hee). I just have to get something off my chest…

For those who do watch, I have one question to ask: Whaaat? Okay, maybe two. Why was
Michael Johns kicked off this past week? He’s the not the best or strongest singer of the bunch nor is he my favorite but come on! I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say this but he got kicked off before Brooke White?! That’s not to say she is a bad singer but she is B-O-R-I-N-G. And I’m sorry but sometimes the look that she makes reminds me of Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy.
Anyway, I liked Michael Johns and think he should still be on the show but whatever - America got it wrong.

I think Brooke should go next (can't believe she wasn't even in the bottom three), then
Syesha. Syesha is a beautiful girl who sings pretty well but nothing will put me over the edge quicker than hearing her imitating a baby cry. To me, that should be automatic grounds for dismissal. Okay, maybe I'm being harsh.

Kristy Lee Cook is like the little train that could. My hubby says she’s like Sanjaya from last season. Ha ha! I just think that each time she’s been in the bottom three the person who ends up being booted must despise her! And poor girl has more of a 'stache than David A. (snarky I know)! Maybe she should go before Syesha.
I have to agree with my sister these days that
David Cook is awesome. I’ve been liking him more and more. Will he win AI? No. He doesn’t fit the profile. He doesn’t seem the type that would be happy being locked into the AI life for however long he’d be obligated to beyond the tour. Just like Chris Daughtry from a couple seasons ago, David will find his own success. But you know? Won’t we all boo when he does leave the show? It won’t be fair I tell you!

Do I have a favorite this season? Not really. I like
Carly but agree she does look angry when she sings. And of course, you got the other David who is slated to win. I know I've said this before but whether you like him or not, he'll be the winner. It was obvious from the Top 24 (or whenever they started performing in front of an audience). He has a huge fan base and every show has the girls up front yelling in unison, “We love you David!” I tend to go back and forth with my opinion of Jason Castro. He’s a nice guy who sings well but tends to be blah at times and then sometimes he’ll sing a song so emotionally and pure.

Can I just pick on
Paula Abdul a bit too? Who dresses her? Like that time she wore those gloves or whatever they were and then that time (I think week before last) she wore what looked like a prom dress (it was blue) and then this past week she wore a dress that smashed her chest to bits (otherwise, I thought she looked pretty). And she over-accessorizes! I will say there have been times this season where (do I dare say?!) she’s MADE SENSE but she still seems to struggle when collecting her thoughts; like she’s trying really hard to sound intelligent. Sometimes I still shake my head and wonder what she’s talking about.

That’s my recap as I’m sure you were dying to know all of this. Hee hee! I love reality TV although don’t watch as much as I would like and maybe that’s a good thing. :)

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Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would…

>> Thursday, April 10, 2008

Recently I was reading a post by Raw Girl too! about good clean living. She had mentioned having a cold and not getting enough sleep the night before. She went on write how she didn’t display the normal signs one gets from being sick and/or sleep deprived (i.e. bags/dark circles under the eyes). Could this be the result of her “good clean living?”

Her post reminded me of a similar experience I had a few weeks ago. I was a bit proud of the fact that I hadn’t gotten sick while so many people around me had been (and with some serious illnesses mind you). I don’t mean that to sound as bad as it might seem – I just meant I was really happy I hadn’t gotten sick because normally I would have. I work in a large downtown office building and use public transportation so you can see how easy it would be to pick up cooties from anywhere, from anyone!

But then, the cough started…then the sore throat…then the sleepies…ah, I realized I was starting to get sick. Bleh! Normally, when I get a cold I’m miserable. Very congested, irritable, sleepy yet can’t sleep, take every drug I can get my paws on, etc. And it usually takes a good solid week before I start to feel better and then after two weeks I’m back to normal.

Something different happened this time around. I was tired, yes. But I could actually sleep. I had one night early on that I woke up a few times to cough (so I stayed home from work the next day) but otherwise, I didn’t have a problem sleeping. And this is with NO DRUGS! I think I would’ve taken some
Zicam if I had some on hand but I didn’t. So I suffered in silence – ha ha. The sore throat didn’t amount to anything; it was only an initial symptom. I had the dry, scratchy throat but it didn’t hurt. I was congested and sluggish but I didn’t feel really bad like I normally do. I could still function, go to work (sorry people I may have shared my cooties with!), do all my normal activities and then go to bed early. My hubby was sweet and would make me tea and juices – the only “medicine” I had. After about five days I was 95%+ better. Again, ZERO DRUGS.

I truly believe that
good clean living, eating and drinking lots of FRESH fruits and veggies (before and during), and being on this raw food journey has helped me to heal quicker and naturally. My SIL even commented how I’m normally wiped out from a cold for a couple weeks and here I was all better after a week or less. I really couldn’t complain much.

I’m curious how my allergies will be this year….have to wait until summer to know.

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Something Borrowed - Part II

>> Wednesday, April 9, 2008

As you may have read from my previous post we like to frequent our local library from time to time. I’ve learned that not only does a library have books but they also have movies, documentaries and music! :-D

I’m deviating from raw foods here to just share with you an interesting documentary we watched on DVD; one we checked out from the library. It’s referred to as the
Up series. Maybe a few of you have heard of it but I’m going to assume that most of you have not. Hubby was familiar with the series because he saw some of it in college. I hadn’t heard of it, which is pretty silly when I think about it because even The Simpsons did a parody. I don’t watch enough of The Simpsons however to have seen this episode.

It’s about 14 British kids who were seven years old in 1963 selected from diverse backgrounds (i.e. social, economic, race, etc.). They are asked various “life questions,” which at that age can be interesting and entertaining; then we see most of them again every seven years as they grow up.

From my understanding, this was originally supposed to be one episode and it’s intent was strictly political (it’s thought that their backgrounds predetermine their future) but it has morphed into something so much more – you get so drawn to these people, root some of them on, cry with them – it’s emotional.

We just finished the last one in the series,
49 Up. Now, they’re probably about 51 or 52 years old now. Some people have been watching these “kids” on TV every seven years, basically growing up with them. We watched it all from start to finish.

In an interview with
Roger Ebert, the director wonders if the effect (affect?) is the same for those who watched it all at once vs. those who have followed each film over the years; because for us we got that instant gratification compared to those who had to wait seven years between shows. Well, I can only guess but I think the effect (affect? – I get those two words mixed up sometimes) is the same or just as meaningful. It’s fascinating to watch these children grow into adults, experience life, sharing their ups and downs, to see how the world’s changed and so on but it also makes you think back on your own life.

How have I changed?
How am I the same?

I’m purposely not disclosing many of my own thoughts of the series because I don’t want it taint or take away anything you might gain from watching the series if you chose to. I also hope I haven’t hyped this up too much.

It is long so we watched it over a course of several days. There’s a lot of recapping with each episode however I don’t suggest skipping any of the episodes. If you were to watch the first and last films only I think you’d miss out on a lot. We had to really concentrate at times because some of their accents were difficult to understand.

I highly recommend the series if you love documentaries, reality TV, psychology or just peeking into other people’s lives.

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Something Borrowed - Part I

>> Tuesday, April 8, 2008

We’ve been busy visiting our local library lately. It’s a good way to test out those many raw (un)cookbooks before buying them. Of course, it’s also a good way to support the libraries and the authors.

Since checking out some of these books (I have many more on my list!) I have determined
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen and Raw Food Real World are must-haves for me. My birthday is NOT coming up so if you’d like to get me a present… Ha ha! But seriously folks, I think those two cookbooks are great to have. Ani’s book is one that could be used daily as the recipes are pretty simple and casual. The RFRW one is more gourmet (by my standards) and one I wouldn’t use daily but just would love to have on hand. I still want to try the Spicy Peanut Coconut Noodles with Ginger and Lime recipe from that book but what in the world is galangal?! And where do I get it? And if it tastes like ginger can’t I just use more regular ginger the recipe calls for? Anyway, tangent….

The other books I’ve checked out but yet to peruse through are
Living Cuisine and Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. I know they’re good ones, don’t worry! The last book I have is the I Am Grateful book. This is another must-have I think. There are so many recipes in here I want to try.

On Sunday, I made “I Am Relishing pizza crust/buckwheat crackers” (btw, I love all the names of the recipes in this book). As I was making them I wasn’t really sure how they were going to be. I kinda made an oopsie while making this. It asks for veggie pulp – mine had some celery, which means lots o’strings! Next time I’ll be more careful with that. I picked out the obvious bunches of strings. In the end though, I’m not sure it mattered as we’ve been eating these like crazy because they’re so good and neither of us have noticed any celery strings. Whew! So yeah, try these if you can. I made the full recipe not realizing how much batter it makes that I had to do it in batches since my food processor is of normal size, not commercial size, which must be what this recipe is based on.


(the first five trays are the crackers, the last two are corn chips - yum! I'm too lazy to make them chip shapes.)

Hubby could not stop eating these! Seriously. They’re very satisfying I must say and not heavy. I had made them with the intention of using them as crusts, hence the design seen below, but we’ve been eating them as crackers. They seem to have the texture as a Ritz cracker – actually, they remind me of Chicken in a Biskit crackers. Savory, slightly soft with a nice snap. Make sense? Yeah, okay. Moving right along…

The library has become a handy resource for us being fairly new to raw vegan foods because there’s so much to learn and not just recipes either. All of these cookbooks are chock-full (?) of valuable information, tid-bits and helpful hints about the raw lifestyle. I like educational cookbooks!

Well, I think this has been an officially long post! I guess I’m making up for lost time. The next chapter of “Something Borrowed” to follow soon. Ooh! Can't wait huh?

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