Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Raw Food Tuesdays! That's my once-a-month all-raw, one-day food cleanse. It actually began as Raw Food Mondays, but as a newspaper reporter with Monday deadlines, the lack of coffee on raw Mondays was a killer. So I switched to the first Tuesday of each month, which coincides nicely with shot nurse day at my office — when I get my monthly B-12 shot.
To start off my special raw day, I had a Tropical Hemp-Flax Smoothie:
I used 1/4 cup raw hemp seeds, 1 cup water, 2 dates, 1 frozen banana, the juice of one orange, one cubed mango, 1/4 cup raw oats, 1 tablespoon flax seed, and a squirt of agave. It filled this jar up twice. Tasty and surprisingly satisfying.
But of course, I was hungry by 10:30 a.m. So I snacked on these yummy Raw Oat Coconut Date Balls (a.k.a. Steph's Raw Balls):
Stephanie of Poopie Bitch (yes, I know I've linked to her a lot lately ... she's just that awesome) came up with this recipe for a raw potluck we went to in January. I don't think she'll mind if I share it at the end of this post. These are so amazing (best raw dessert I've ever had ... well, except for raw cheezecake, maybe).
For lunch, I had this HUGE Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing from Raw Food Made Easy:
Just field greens, avocado, grapefruit, sunflower seeds, and a tasty vinaigrette. It was fairly filling, but I snacked on a pink lady apple, some grapes, and more date balls in the afternoon.
By dinner, I was starving. Luckily, this AWESOME Raw BBQ and Coleslaw plate did the trick:
My raw friend Judith shared her recipe for raw barbecue sauce (it's from a book and I'm not sure which one, so I can't reprint it), which I mixed with shredded carrots. I can definitely say this is my new favorite raw dish. Here in Memphis, barbecue is king (we even have great barbecue tofu and mushroom dishes offered at local BBQ joints). So my cravin' for 'cue was satisfied with this dish. On the side, I made raw coleslaw from Raw Food Made Easy.
Looking back on my year of raw food days, I'm not sure if one day a month of eating only raw food really makes a difference body-cleansing-wise. But I do know that it's an amazing lesson in self-discipline. By dinner time, I find myself craving cooked foods — mainly junk food like cupcakes, chips, whatever. But I refrain from indulging all day long. By the next day, I always gain a new — albeit fleeting — appreciation for the cooked foods I enjoy for the rest of the month.
Will I ever go all-the-way raw? Who knows. I'd like to think I will when I get old and my metabolism slows and daily caloric needs decrease. For now, I'll just continue with my monthly raw days.
Now for that recipe I promised, courtesy of Ms. Stephanie:
Steph's Raw Balls
1/2 cup oats
1 cup walnuts
10-ounce container of pitted dates
A few generous squeezes of raw agave
Shredded coconut, for rolling
Process oats in a food processor until they form a fine powder. Add walnuts and process until small crumbs form. Add dates and process again.
Add squirts of agave and process until the mixture begins to ball up. Keep adding agave until it looks like you can roll them into balls in your palms.
Form the mixture into small balls, roll in coconut, and refridgerate until ready to eat. Yum!