Monday, March 05, 2007

RAW - Portobello & Guacamole

I toy with the idea of going completely raw from time to time. I've got several books about it, which I find fascinating, and I've bought all of the equipment needed along the way. I just never seem to make the leap. Well, with focusing on trying to lose weight and all, I was stirred up yet again this weekend on raw food. And while I eat lots of raw fruits & veggies, I don't think I have ever spent so much as a single day eating 100% raw, until yesterday. On Sunday, I basically survived on several pieces of fresh fruit, several handfuls of raw nuts, and then for dinner I tried a raw recipe from one my raw cookbooks. While I was at it, I just went ahead and made double so that I would have something to bring for lunch today. I felt okay yesterday, I never did get hungry, but I think the whole thing just convinced me that I'm not sure that I would want to make the leap to 100% raw.

Here in the lunchbox I've got a large Portobello Mushroom Cap covered with some Guacamole. It was so large that I had to cut it and half and split it between two lunchbox containers. I made the Guacamole in the food processor by just tossing in 3 Avacados, a Roma Tomato and a decent sized chunk of Onion. It apparently takes some time to learn how to select good vegetables if you go completely raw, because I had no idea what I was doing and I paid for it. The Avacados that I got were just horrible. They weren't ripe enough and really wouldn't even "cream up" to make good Guacamole. I mean, it tastes OK, but the texture is all off. I was so mad when I was trying to get the Avacados out of the peel that I was about to go back out to the grocery store and ask them why they were selling this junk. Anyway, it was my fault because I'm no expert in selecting Avacados. The recipe just calls for making the Guacamole and then spreading it on the Portobello. Then you just pour a little Bragg's on it. I packed it there in the little blue dressing container. This tastes okay, but it's not my favorite thing in the whole world, and I don't think that I would want to make it again. I think I would much rather have the big mushroom cap grilled on a bun with some lettuce & tomato. I am obviously not ready to make the leap to 100% raw yet. I think I'll just stick to working as many raw fruits & veggies into my diet as possible. Bryanna Clark Grogan did a nice write-up here which kinda' sums up the way that I feel about the whole thing.

To go along with the raw entree, I also brought a few Cherry Tomatoes and some fresh Blackberries. I DO like things like this, so I guess I'll just continue to make sure to keep packing them in my lunchbox as much as possible. Obviously, raw fruits & vegetable are good for you, and I should continue to eat as many as possible, but I couldn't imagine living without soy products, plus, I just plain enjoy cooking. So I don't guess I'll be going completely raw anytime soon.

Now, on to the weekly update about my weight loss. It's been two weeks now since I started trying to eat healthier and lose some weight. I also set a goal of exercising by walking at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. The first week, I missed a day of exercise so I only got in four days of walking and I ended up dropping from 225 lbs. to 218 lbs. for a total loss of 7 lbs. for the first week. So what happened during Week 2?

Well, again I am ashamed to say that I missed a day of exercise because it was raining here and I wasn't motivated enough to get on the treadmill when I got home. I DID get four days in though, which is more exercise than I was getting before I started this. So I did at least get some exercise in. I ate pretty good this week, although I did have pizza a couple of times. I tried to make up for it by eating extra healthy at other meals. I guess it paid off because when I weighed this weekend I weighed 213 lbs., which means I lost another 5 lbs. last week bringing my total weight loss to 12 lbs. in two weeks. Not bad. I'm happy with it.

My final goal is to weigh 185 lbs. or less. The going will most likely get a little tougher now since I'm past those initial stages of weight loss. I suspect that I will probably only lose 1-2 lbs. a week from now on, IF I'm lucky. That means that I'm gonna need to pay extra special attention to eating the healthiest food that I can and I've got to quit missing that day of exercise. You'll probably see a bunch of fruits & veggies this week, but don't be surprised if you see vegan pizza or burgers again too. I don't want to deprive myself, but I'll try to be as good as I can.

So there's an update on the weight loss and my raw lunch for Monday. Not my favorite lunch that I've ever brought, but a healthy one that'll help me lose some more weight this week. I have a feeling though that tomorrow's lunch will be NOTHING like this one. I'll try not to let the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction though. ;o)

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see everybody tomorrow!


mollyjade said...

It sounds like your avocados weren't quite ripe yet. Next time, stick them in a paper bag with an apple and they'll get nice and ripe. They're good to go when they have a little "give" when you poke them, but aren't yet mushy.

I think I could live happily on avocados alone.

kennyboy said...

I think you're right.

I'll do that ripening trick with the others I have left. Thanks for the tip.


Okra Mary said...

I've got another tip about avocados. After I got a few avocados from the store that "felt" ripe, but weren't quite, I heard this tip...I think it's from Alton Brown on the Food Network.

He said once the avocado "feels" ripe, to pop the little button off at the end, where the stem used to be. If it's bright green, the avocado is ready.

And I wonder if avocados are weird now because of that California freeze...

Good luck with the continued weight loss!

shebytches said...

Hey Ken, I am actually on the fence about going raw (am also trying to lose weight, so far since Aug of last year lost 30 pounds and my goal is to get the final 20 off my end of April). I was considering doing it a few days a week to start. I'm not sure if I could go 100% raw, there are just too many cooked foods I am in love with but could probably do it every other day. I just bought a book called 'The Complete Book of Raw Food'. What books do you have and which do you recommend?


NightOwl said...

Congratulations Ken! You're such an inspiration to me, thank you so much for everything you do.
I have a wonderful vegan nutritionist. I can give you his info if you like. He does phone consults. Anyway, he says to try to eat 70% whole/raw foods and to avoid processed foods as much as possible. So, just keep doing what you're doing. It's fantastic that you eat so many fruits and veggies-that's just how it should be. No deprivation!

Melanie said...

i'm kinda skeptical about the raw food thing, not sure that it's really true that we modern humans are "meant" to be eating that way exclusively, but of course it is good to eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as a person can. you have some good advice here for the avocados though, so hopefully future batches will work out well. personally, i wait until they have quite a lot of 'give' when i press them with a thumb in more than one spot (because sometimes it can be soft in one area but hard in another area) - not so soft that it feels like utter mush, but definitely doesn't put up any resistance against being pressed. also, the bumpy, smaller avocados are a lot better flavor-wise than the larger, smooth-skinned type. those are lower in fat, it's true, but you pay for it in loss of taste.

kennyboy said...

Thanks for the avacado tips everbody. I know NOTHING about selecting them so this will all really help.

Thanks for the info nightowl. I'm glad to know that I'm on track. I think what I'm doing is about right too.

And hey shebytches. I've got those two raw books down there in the left hand column of my blog, but my favorite one is Alissa Cohen's LIVING ON LIVE FOODS which I ordered from her website along with a double DVD which shows her making several of the recipes. It's a HUGE book and full of lots of info & recipes.

I'm not so sure all of the 100% raw info is correct either Melanie. I mean, I don't understand why they say that we need the enzymes found in live food so we don't have to make them to digest the food. First of all, I think that the enzymes found in a live plant would be enzymes required for the plant to do what it needs to do, NOT digestive enzymes. If that were so then the thing would just dissolve on the vine wouldn't it?

Plus, whatever active enzymes ARE in live food will be destroyed when they hit your stomach acid, wouldn't they? Well, isn't Pepsin a digestive enzyme that functions in the hydrocholoric acid environment? I don't think plants have Pepsin in them though...

I don't guess it really matters because it's obvious that eating raw fruits & veggies is good for you and makes you feel good. I'm just not sure that all of the information that's floating around out there is true though.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Great job on your weight loss. It is a good feeling when you succeed. 1 to 2 lbs a week is a good way to loose. Keep up the good work. As far as the raw diet. I have a friend who is raw vegan and she has lost about 40lbs, but it takes so much time to dehydrate and sprout. She went to school and became a raw chef. Some of her recipes are fantastic, but time consuming. I am with you eat lots of raw veggies, fruit, and everynow and then (when you have time) enjoy a raw day.

Chris said...

Hey, congrats on another great weight loss! Your lunch looks yummy. I could never go raw, I like warm food.

My in laws have an avocado tree, they are so much better than store bought avocados, and best of all, free. When they are hard I put them in a paper bag and place them in a dark cabinet. It is supposed to speed up the ripening process. My son did an experiment and they ones on the counter ripened at the same speed as the ones in the bag. Hmmm...