When you start your day with a concoction that contains pineapple juice, bananas, fresh mint, raw cacao powder, ginger juice (which I actually did not have) and cayenne powder, what could possibly go wrong?
Do not be fooled by its chocolatey appearance. This was nasty business. It might be the single most disgusting thing I have ever ingested. But ingest it, I did. And although it did give me a much-needed energy kick, it was not worth it. This was the first smoothie of the week that my daughter spat out.
For the past four days, I have been in sort of a raw vegan cocoon. My husband has been out of town for work and my regular baby-sitter for the kiddos was on vacation, so the kids and I have been pretty much on our own. And I have been emerging from my fully-stocked, raw vegan kitchen only to do essential tasks, such as take my daughter to school or go to the grocery store for more raw vegan supplies. Yesterday’s trip to Premiere Raw was the most out I have been.
Today, that all changed. I got a taste of what it means to be a raw vegan in the real world. And let me tell you, it was rough.
I have a revision due next week, and since I’ve been spending all of my spare time this week on my raw vegan meals, I haven’t gotten much work done. Luckily, my baby-sitter was back in town today, so I seized the opportunity for a Writing Day.
Escaping the house became an absolute necessity this morning after I caved to my daughter’s request to make microwave popcorn:
I had never before noticed how pervasive and intoxicating the smell of popcorn could be. It filled the entire house, and it took every ounce of willpower I had not to have any. I’m not generally a huge popcorn enthusiast. I don’t know if it was the smell of the butter, the fact that I could see the steam rising off of the warm, popped kernels, or the fact that I knew I was absolutely forbidden to have any (no matter how I tried to rationalize it in my brain, I couldn’t come up with a magical way that popcorn was a raw food), but all of a sudden I developed a primal, immediate need to devour the entire bowl of popcorn.
I had to get out of there.
So as soon as the babysitter arrived, I threw the kids at her and ran to my local coffee shop, laptop in tow, hoping to get some writing done.
There, the smells continued. Honestly, I haven’t been this aware of smells since I was pregnant and I had a nose like a bloodhound. But the aroma of the egg sandwich the woman at the next table was eating was so distracting that I purposely fooled around on gmail and Facebook until she left. No way I could concentrate on my revisions with that delectable egg and melted cheese just staring at me like that.
I was pacified somewhat by the cup of coffee I allowed myself to have (see My Raw Vegan Adventure: Day 0 for why I refuse to give up coffee), and I managed to squash most of my popcorn and egg sandwich cravings by eating a handful of Pizza Flax Snax (my morning snack).
But I felt strangely vulnerable, now that I was out of my cocoon. There was non-raw food, and people enjoying it, all around me. For the first time since this little experiment began, I felt truly deprived and kind of weak. Weak, that I should feel this way after only five days. And also weak in that I was feeling a little bit light-headed. I felt a little bit slow, like I wasn’t operating on all thrusters. Basically, all day long I had that nagging feeling that I’ve left the stove on (which, obviously is impossible – at least this week!), or that I’ve forgotten to return an email or left the keys in the car ignition. Except that it was a constant feeling, rather than a momentary one.
It took me an absurdly long time to get into “writer-mode.” I was completely lacking in mental sharpness and focusing was difficult.
At lunchtime, I went to Whole Foods in the hopes of scrounging up a raw vegan meal. Thank goodness for the salad bar! I loaded up a plate with every single raw offering they had and covered it with a vinaigrette that a Whole Foods employee assured me was raw. I have to admit, I’m not quite sure he knew exactly what I was asking him, but it was my only dressing option so I rolled with it.
I felt a lot less spacey after the salad. So much so that I was able to grasp the sobering reality that even at Whole Foods, a place dedicated to healthy food and decidedly friendly to alternative eating habits, my ready-to-eat food options consisted of only one half of the salad bar. Dark times.
I ate every single bite of the Whole Foods salad, which turned out to be a good thing because in keeping with today’s theme, dinner was a bust. But this time, I have only myself to blame, as Battle Coconut (see My Raw Vegan Adventure: Day 2) came back to bite me.
Tonight’s recipe for Little Miss Green Goddess Gazpacho (from RAWESOMELY VEGAN) called for two cups of Creamy Coconut Yogurt. My attempt to make this ahead of time, on Day 2, was thwarted by a bad-tempered coconut and today I was forced to admit that my genius idea of using shredded coconut as a substitute for the fresh stuff did not exactly pan out. The bowl of dried out white-guck I pulled out of my fridge today had a consistency much closer to paste than yogurt. But I pretended not to notice, and I threw it into the food processor along with the other gazpacho ingredients . . .
. . . and immediately after I hit “puree” I realized that I had put in twice the amount of “yogurt” I was supposed to, thus completely dooming this recipe from the onset. See what I mean about being spacey? My mental sharpness at this point is highly questionable.
Anyway, here’s what the gazpacho looked like:
So today was not exactly a stellar raw vegan day. I had some bad luck, recipe-wise, and venturing out into the real world was more difficult than I anticipated. I’m not going to lie, I am dragging. But I successfully completed Day 5, and I am determined to solider on through Days 6 and 7.
Another piece of good news: the Hubs comes home tonight! Tomorrow is date night. Won’t he be excited to find out that we’ll be doing it raw vegan style? (And by “doing it” I mean eating, people. Come on now . . .)