Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Name Change

I've changed the name of my blog to the Jazzy Vegan because I'm more vegan than raw and I'm OK with that. I just find trying to be mostly raw too limiting. I like cooked food and I feel that as long as I include a fair amount of raw food in my daily eating I'm still way ahead of the game. So look for some raw recipes but plenty of cooked vegan too.

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Raw Retreat

This 4th of July weekend I was blessed to be part of a Raw Relaxation and Rejuvenation Retreat with members of the Baltimore Raw Food Tribe. What a wonderful experience, from the positive people to the delicious raw food served daily. Each day started with meditation and journaling. I was able to get in some outdoor yoga too, not to mention canoeing for the first time. Wow! We also had discussions of the practical aspects of being raw, especially dealing with temptation. We left vowing to support each other on our raw journeys. I'm so grateful to have discovered such wonderful new friends.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When Will I Be Raw?

Well, I've fallen off the wagon...AGAIN! I'm so tired to trying to eat right. It takes so much effort because the lure of SAD food is so strong. I feel like a junkie in need of a fix. I get really irritable if I don't have certain foods. Every morning I get up and say I'm going to eat such and such. I pack up a good lunch or have a green smoothie and it works for a while. Then things start to go downhill after lunch until, by the time I get home, I'm eating things I don't even want to mention here.

The wellness journal was going OK until I started to go off track. Then, of course, I couldn't bring myself to write it down. What's it going to take to get me to eat well consistently? When will I be raw? I'd be happy just to be vegan at this point.

I think my downfall is not having enough satisfying raw foods to snack on during the day. I'm a nibbler. I need little things to nibble on all day. I love the pates with crackers or veggies and I love smoothies. I'm going to make certain I have some of these things around all the time to help me overcome cravings.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wellness Journal

In an effort to get back on track (again) I decided I'd start keeping a food journal. But then it occurred to me that there's more to being healthy than just food. That's when I decided to keep a what I'm calling a wellness journal instead. Besides keeping track of food I keep track of exercise and other good things I do for myself, like drinking a glass of water with lemon upon rising, dry skin brushing and hot/cold showers, the vitamins and supplements I take. I also note whether I take time for meditation and prayer. At the end, I write my reflections of the day. I think my wellness journal is going to be a very useful tool for helping me maintain balance and overall well being.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Truth

This past month since I joined the Raw Fu challenge I've gone through a roller coaster of emotions. I've felt like I didn't know who I was anymore. You don't realize how much of your identity is tied to the food you eat until you make a drastic change in your diet. Without certain foods I actually felt disoriented and unable to concentrate. I felt on edge and unable to sleep. I found myself withdrawing from friends and family; I just wanted to be alone to process this new programming. When I got sick (detox probably) and began feeling afraid I ran as fast as my long legs could carry me back to the foods that gave me comfort and made me feel "grounded." You know...the bad stuff. Whew that was close!

I realize now what was happening and so feel better equipped to deal with it next time, but man was that scary. I could completely relate with the man in the Raw for 30 Days video who couldn't make it through. Imagine what it felt like to go through that at his age. Not that he couldn't have made it regardless of his age (I think it's more related to your personality and outlook on life) but it must have been tough for him. Anyway I have no intention of quitting. This is too important. Sure, it's about the food and about being healthy. But it's also about being someone I've never been before; it's about being the best that I can be. Rawsome!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Home Sick Today

Ever since I got back from hiking in Harpers Ferry last Saturday, I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something. With all the media about swine flu I was beginning to get worried. Part of my concern stemmed from the fact that the trip was made up of students from various countries and I had no idea if any had travelled lately. I kept scouring the web for symptoms to see if I had any. I have a few, sore throat, coughing, but in general it looks like all I have is a cold. (Thank God!) No wonder with the damp, rainy weather we've been having here along with lower than normal temperatures. All the more reason to build up my immunity by staying as raw as possible.

Along those lines I've been looking for raw soup recipes. I always find soup comforting when I'm not feeling well but I was not about to indulge in chicken soup. The following is a recipe I created based on those I found on the web.

JazzyRaw's Creamy Green Soup

2 cups tightly packed kale, chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup young coconut meat
1 cup young coconut water
1/2 avocado, chopped
Raw agave nectar to taste
Dulse flakes

Blend kale, tomato, young coconut meat until smooth. Add 1/2 of the chopped avocado and blend again. Add agave nectar as desired. Serve immediately with the remaining chopped avocado as a garnish. Sprinkle dulse flakes on top.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So Cool!

I went food shopping this evening. It was so cool to shop in the produce section and then leave. I was done. I didn't even need to look at the rest of the store. It was a great feeling.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Here!

The inaugural issue of RawFu Magazine has finally made it to my mailbox and I couldn't be happier. The articles are great (especially the feature on Philip McClusky) and the photography is gorgeous. If you're into the raw lifestyle you owe it to yourself to sign up now. If you subscribe within the next 10 days you'll be eligible to win a Blendtec blender for your kitchen. Do it now!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

JazzyRaw's Almond Hummus

I was looking for a way to use the pulp after making almond milk. I knew there had to be a way to use it so I got online to look for some recipes. There were some interesting ones, especially the one for cinnamon rolls, but that was too labor intensive for me. The ones for almond hummus intrigued me. After looking at the ingredients for several recipes I decided to just throw something together one my own. Here's the delicious result. Because I just threw things together the measurements are approximate. Taste as you go and adjust flavors to your own preference.

JazzyRaw's Almond Pulp Hummus

1 1/2 cups almond pulp
3 Tbsp raw tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp chipolte chili powder
1/2 Tsp Celtic sea salt
3 sun-dried tomatoes

Combine and blend all ingredients, except water, in a food processor. The mixture will be thick. Add small amounts of water until desired consistency is achieved. Chill in refrigerator to marry flavors. Enjoy in a salad, in lettuce wraps with assorted veggies, or with raw crackers (absolutely great with Livin Spoonful Coconut Curry Crackers from Natural Zing).

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Lightbulb Goes Off

This journey to raw has begun to create in me a new perspective. I'm beginning to see things more clearly and to see them for what they are. For instance, today, I was eating some corn chips (yeah, I know) and at some point while eating I was struck (I mean really struck) by the realization that what I was eating wasn't food. I then began to think about all the products manufacturers have passed off to the public as food and how we've fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Then, I remembered the day this week when I was shopping in the produce section, feeling happy because I was buying wholesome foods that are good for me. I looked with disdain at the aisles jammed with boxed and canned items that could only pretend to be food. I thought about the outdated fallacies the food industry have "fed" the public like we must eat meat to get adequate protein or that milk "does a body good." We've been hoodwinked. We've been bamboozled. It's time we opened our eyes and free ourselves from these food myths. Time to start thinking for ourselves and start realizing what good food really is.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a Day!

What a day I had yesterday. First I attended a viewing of the film Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. I've been wanting to see this film for a long time and was glad to finally get the opportunity to see it. I also got to meet some of the members of the meetup group, Raw Food Tribe, who sponsored the film. There was good food, smoothies, mango & pineapple sorbet and raw chocolate. Now, it's up to those of us who were there to spread the word to others that raw food is the way to go if you want to get off your meds and cure your diabetes.

The other event I attended later that day was the monthly Earthsave dinner which happened to be in the same location. Since I had time to kill between events I helped set up. Good exercise. More great food, mostly vegetarian, but just as good. The speaker for the evening was Susan Weis, owner of Breathe Books in Baltimore and Ayurveda practioner. Susan gave some great information about how Ayurveda changed her life. I'm ready to check out her five week course coming soon.

All in all it was a wonderful day spent learning more ways to be fit and healthy.

Monday, April 20, 2009

RawFu Challenge-Week One

Just completed my first week of the RawFu 100 Day Challenge. I've decided to document weekly because it's just more practical for me. The operative word for my week one experience is challenging. Many feelings (positive and negative) and cravings (positive and negative) have sprung up but I'm still holding on. I haven't been nearly as raw as I planned but I feel encouraged by the fact that some of my favorite raw heroes have taken years to reach their goal. Knowing this I can stop beating myself up and allow things to transpire naturally while not becoming too complacent.

One of the obstacles this week was not having my pantry stocked with the right ingredients. I'll remedy that situation this week by getting all the foods I find satisfying so I'll have no excuse. My goal, at least initially, is to be high raw (80%).

I have a confession to make. This is my third raw food blog. My previous blog incarnations have been Inspired Raw and Raw in Black. Regardless of what happens, I intend to keep this blog so I'll be JazzyRaw for a long time to come. Looking forward to what's in store for week two. Also looking forward to my Raw Food Tribe meetup on Saturday with a showing of Raw in 30 Days. Nothing like being around other raw food enthusiasts to be enlightened and inspired.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vegetarian Times E-Newsletter

I'm really beginning to appreciate some of the recipes I get in the Vegetarian Times newsletter. I didn't expect to find so many appealing raw meals. Here's another one that looks like a real winner. I can't wait to try it.

Papaya-Avocado Salad

Ingredient List
Serves 4

4 ripe papayas, divided (When buying ripe papayas, look for firm (not hard) fruit with a yellowish rind that has no spots or bruises)
2 small avocados, diced (1 cup)
1/3 cup unsalted cashews, chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or fresh mint
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (2 Tbs.)
1 cup packed arugula, coarsely chopped

Halve 2 papayas and scoop out seeds. Set halves aside. Peel remaining 2 papayas with vegetable peeler, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut peeled papaya halves into 1/2-inch dice, and place in medium bowl.

Add avocados, cashews, cilantro, lime juice, and shallot to diced papayas in bowl, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in arugula. Fill papaya halves with salad, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories: 252, Protein: 5g, Total fat: 11g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 39g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 162mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugars: 19g

I really appreciate the nutritional information since I need to watch out for FSS (fat, sugar, sodium). It's also nice to know what to look for in a good papaya. Enjoy!

Monday, April 13, 2009

RawFu 100 Day Raw Food Challenge

Just discovered that the next challenge starts tomorrow. This is perfect, one might say divine, timing. It's short notice but I'm glad of that. This way I don't get the opportunity to obsess about it for days and build myself up into a big ball of nervous energy, unable to do anything but eat myself into oblivion, and I'm not talking about with salads and smoothies. My kitchen is not stocked as I'd like but I can take care of that over the next few days.

I'm giving deep thought to what really satisfies me because that has been my downfall in the past. I'm sure I wasn't eating enough, nor eating things with enough substance. I always felt empty. To avoide this I plan to add more nut dishes. I understand that Philip McCluskey ate like this in the beginning and still lost weight so I'm not worried about it. Anyway, eventually I hear one loses the desire for heavier dishes as the body embraces lighter, healthier foods. The other thing I intend to do is be high raw rather than trying to be 100%. This was another source of pressure that has led to sabotage in the past. It's taken me a while but I'm finally learning what works for me. I'm confident I'll find success this time around.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I haven't been eating well lately and I can feel the results. So today I've decided to recommit to embracing a healthy lifestyle. I recently read a wonderful post by Karen Knowler about transitioning to raw. It's more than just saying you want to eat better or exercise more, it encompasses your entire state of being. I have to examine my life in its entirety--mind, body and spirit--and ask myself, how do I really want to live? I see so many overweight people hobbling around, you can see their discomfort. I see them and say to myself, I don't want to go out like that. I see so many unhappy people, spreading their misery around because that's all they have to offer and think, I choose to be happy regardless of my circumstances. My faith in God is what helps me to accomplish this. You can't always control what happens in your life but you can control how you react, how you operate. You can live your life with joy, and if you accumulate enough joy, you can spread it to others. You can live a life of integrity where everything you think, say and do is in line with your highest vision for yourself. That's what I call success.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mango-Wrapped Bananas

I just got this recipe in my inbox from Vegetarian Times. I subscribe to their recipe newsletter.

Mango-Wrapped Bananas

Serves 4
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. honey
1 large mango, peeled
3 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Whisk together yogurt, orange juice, and honey in small bowl. Set aside.
Cut mango from top to base into 16 4½- x 1-inch strips using vegetable peeler. Cut bananas into 16 1-inch pieces. Wrap 1 mango strip around each banana piece. Arrange on plates cut-side up.
Mash raspberries in separate bowl until slightly liquid, but still chunky. Spoon mashed raspberries atop center of each mango-wrapped banana piece. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories: 169, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 1g, Saturated fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 42g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 17mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 30g

Now this is the recipe is shown as they give it but it seems to me you could easily make this raw (and with less sugar) by eliminating the yogurt and honey. Without them you could leave out the OJ as well. Voila, a great raw breakfast!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Organic Air?

For April Fool's, Whole Foods Market posted this ad on its homepage. Kinda makes me think of Total Recall. Let's not give the corporations any ideas.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

JazzyRaw's Sock-it-to-Ya Salad

This salad is named for that ground-breaking show, Laugh-In. Some of you may be old enough to remember it. I tried to embed a video without success. You can check it out on YouTube. Again this picture is only a representation. (Aren't the flowers pretty?) Instead of sockin' it to ya with laughs, this salad socks it to ya with great taste and serious nutrition.

JazzyRaw's Sock-it-to-Ya Salad

Include the following ingredients in whatever quantities suit you.

Lettuce (spring mix, red or romaine), shredded
Grape tomatoes, halved
Sugar Snap Peas, cut into bite size pieces
Red, orange or yellow pepper, cut into bit size pieces (for that all important crunch)
Pepitas (that's pumpkin seeds to you!)
Thompson raisins (adds a touch of sweetness)
Sliced raw olives (optional)

Combine ingredients and toss with your favorite salad dressing.

Of course there are many other items you can include but this is my favorite basic salad that I enjoy on a regular basis. It may become your favorite too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Progess is Being Made

I don't want to get over confident but just this afternoon when I was feening for a bag of potato chips I had raw carrots, snap peas and italian dressing instead. Got my crunch on, which is what I like best about chips, that and the salt.

Next up, a nice juicy (organic) Gala apple.

I'm doin' it, one meal at a time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holdin' On

I've noticed that when I'm eating in a less than healthy way (to put it nicely) I have absolutely no desire for healthy foods. That's one of the things that makes the SAD so dangerous. It's taking me a great deal of effort to stick to the foods I want to eat. The cravings for SAD food are so intense. I've been working on this for so long. Sometimes I get tired of fighting my baser instincts; it's so much easier to just give in.

OK, the pity party's over. I go through this every once in a while but I intend to continue working on elevating my palate to the point where the SAD foods become downright unappealing. Oh happy day that will be...for me.

I'm Famous!

Just got word that my blog is listed on Raw Epicurean. I feel so special now. This means I'll have to live up to my commitment to raw so that others can be inspired. I must admit though that I've been more vegan than raw, which isn't bad but I want more. More raw, I say!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snack Time

JazzyRaw AM Snack

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup plain soy yogurt
Sweetner of choice, to taste

The cinnamon adds a new dimension to this simple, simply delicious snack. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I've just discovered that the Raw Spirit Festival will be in a beautiful country park in Maryland--Upper Marlboro, MD that is. I'm looking forward to being there.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A JazzyRaw Morning

I'm happy to say I had a perfectly raw morning today. I planned to go walking on a local trail, the Ma and Pa Trail, but knew I'd need something to break the fast and give me energy for my workout. What better than a greeeeen smoooothie. Here's what I put together.

JazzyRaw's Green Morning Smoothie

2 handfuls fresh kale (I like to chop it up & freeze. It lasts longer)
2 bananas in pieces (at least 1 frozen for creaminess)

1 cup bluberries
1 scoop chia seeds

2 cups water

Place all in the blender and blend until smooth. The greeny, purply color is not particularly appetizing but it tastes great.

Now, feel the vibrant green energy pulse through your body.

Monday, March 16, 2009

JazzyRaw's Kickin' Kale Salad

I came up with this recipe just yesterday and it turned out great (if I do say so myself--and I do). I must fess up and say this picture isn't mine but it looks remarkably like my creation. I was going to use my son's camera phone but he got away from me before I could. Doggone kids always going someplace! Anyway, here t'is.

JazzyRaw's Kickin' Kale Salad

1 head of Kale, chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup nutrional yeast
olive oil
pine nuts

Place kale in mixing bowl. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over kale and toss. Add olive oil (just a little to coat), garlic, pepper, and avocado. Smoosh with your hands until all leaves are covered with dressing. Sprinkle pine nuts. Place in frig for at least 1/2 hour so the flavors can marry.

That's it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why I'm Smilin'

I have to say I'm proud of myself this time around. I'm doing quite well in the food department with little effort. I find I really enjoy eating fresh, healthy foods, as close to their natural state as possible. This afternoon I'm on my way to Whole Foods to pick up some good stuff for my new pantry. Out with old and in the with new (or should I say out with the SAD and in with the GLAD).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Welcome to Jazzy Raw

It's been a while but I'm back on the road to raw. This is my third raw blog and I have high hopes that this one will stick. Let me say at the outset that I'm not going for 100% but for mostly raw which I think is just as good. So let the games begin. I'll keep you posted on my journey. Thanks for coming along.