Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Eating in the Raw

We’re trying something new… new year, new habits, new ideas… it’s a good time for that kind of thing. I figure since the world is apparently ending in a little less than a year, it’s time to make some (good) things happen, right?

A few months ago, my Loverly Husband decided that he wanted to do this ‘forage’ style meal plan. It’s not a full-on ‘raw foods‘ or vegan/vegetarian thing, but similar – more low-key than that, really. It’s more about simplicity than it is about buying into the ‘lifestyle’ that is usually (albeit stereotypically) associated with such a diet. His idea includes no meal planning, just having fresh foods on-hand to consume quickly and as easily as possible whenever hunger strikes.

Now, if you know anything about me from reading here, I can imagine that one of the things that jumps out at you is my penchant for planning all things with zero moderation. My Loverly Husband, who has known me since Kindergarten, could not possibly have failed to notice this trait, and yet somehow thought that I would be just dandy with it. Not.

Well, that was a few months ago, and I have to admit that the idea has grown on me. We’ve always kept kid-friendly foods on hand and the boys have been fixing their own breakfast most of the time for years now. To carry this trend over into lunch and dinner isn’t that much of a stretch, practically speaking. Admittedly, this laissez-faire,  go-with-the-flow attitude might have something to do with my current/new-again-as-of-yesterday medication, which has blessedly made my previously over-stressed state a thing of that past, but whatever the reason, I really have gotten on-board with the whole idea.

I admit that the simplistic aspect appeals, but so does the idea that such a diet would lend aid towards health and weight-loss endeavors. As we launch into a new year, I once again have all these aspirations of weight loss and exercise; maybe putting a diet/lifestyle into place that supports those goals will create a whirlpool of success? In any case, I put on my Optimism Hat and tried to figure out how I can satisfy my own need to over-plan and still follow this simple idea.

Upon scavenging Pinterest for ideas, I discovered that there are literally hundreds of recipes out there for raw/vegan approximations of foods we normally eat (minus the meat and cooking, of course). Since we’re not going all out vegan, I think that small changes here and there with an eye towards that as a goal will be easier to accomplish and less traumatic, gastronomically speaking. Following a recipe does require some planning though, so I think it’s possible to satisfy my need to plan while still meeting the raw/vegetarian-ish goals.

And so it was that I decided that starting today, when I go grocery shopping this afternoon, it will be with the following goals in mind:

  • stay in the produce section as much as possible
  • plan on whatever actual cooking to be done is vegan-ish (with the exception of perpetual soup/bone broth which is going on to cook this afternoon)
  • to refrain from being tempted by processed foods and junk
  • keep the basket filled with only what can be consumed by the four of us in the course of a few days (this will be a challenge because I am used to planning and shopping for two weeks at a time)
I also found a few links that are for beginners to the raw foods lifestyle that I found to be helpful rather than ‘preachy’: Raw Food Diet for the Beginner and Starting A Raw Food Diet. I also found a fantastic blog called Smaller Sarah in which she shows her pantry and fridge before and after shots. I’m impressed and amazed at the neatness of the pantry and the lovely baskets full of yummy cold fresh foods. I want my fridge to look like that! I would take pictures of the befores now, but I am embarrassed to show you my fridge and after the holidays and a week’s vacation for my Loverly Husband, my pantry is in similar disrepair. But I may update this post with after pictures.

We start school again next week. Wish me luck!

Warmly,
~h

P.S. It occurs to me after looking over my list that it’s not terribly ‘vegan/vegetarian’. But considering that virtually every meal for the past.. all of eternity has revolved around whatever meat-main-course and my current shopping list contains ‘2 whole chickens’ instead of 10-12 meats for four, I’m calling that progress.

P.P.S. And in case you were wondering, I am not one of those ‘save the animals’ PETA people. I fall more on the ‘meat is tasty murder’ side of the fence, supported by the presence of both canine teeth (for ripping, shredding) and molars (for grinding and mashing) in humans, which (to me) indicate that humans are omnivores and therefore are designed to consume flesh.

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5 responses

  1. Amy R

    I highly recommend the book “Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual.” Quick, tasty bites along the lines of what you’ve mentioned in your post. If I was a few thousand miles closer, I would loan it to you!

    January 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    • Oh, cool; thanks! – I’ll check it out!
      I miss seeing you guys!
      ~h

      January 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  2. I’ve been doing this for the past two weeks as well. lol I got a dehydrator and an old school Vita-Mix for Christmas, and I’ve been trying to make daily green drinks and healthy snacks for the kidletts. Then I noticed that I wasn’t hungry at our normal meal times, so I’d end up raw snacking some more. I then eat less at our regular (cooked meal) dinner, and I find I no longer crave sweets after I put the children in bed.

    Aside from keeping fruits and veggies on hand, I recommend raw nuts and dried fruit (without the added sugar). I make an energy mix with nuts and dried fruits. A handful goes a long way.

    January 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    • Score! I want a dehyrdator…
      We’re big on smoothies here – not so much the green ones, but we’re all about trying new things this week, so I am going to give green smoothies a try. I hear you on the snacking thing – that’s a big one for me. I have a bad habit of skipping meals until around 2 or 3 and then eating. That throws off my whole meal schedule and I end up with a late-night snack.
      We’re stocked up on all kinds of good stuff now – yay for granola and trail mix! 🙂
      ~h

      January 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  3. Good for you! You will not be disappointed… going even a little bit raw will really change things for you and your family. Thank you for mentioning my little pantry / fridge “before and after”. We just had a dinner party tonight where I served an almost completely raw meal to 5 colleagues! It went very well. Bets of luck in he new year!

    Cheers,
    Smaller Sarah

    January 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm

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