Monday, January 12, 2015

A Winter Night's Tea Party

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Choosing Raw Challenge post for a CHEAT DAY!

If you've been following along, you know that for 21 days, I'm doing a mostly raw (but with some cooked food) diet exclusively making recipes from Gena Hamshaw's Choosing Raw cookbook. Every January, I do some sort of 3- to 4-week reset diet, and this is one I've chosen for this year. I've also added a rule for no refined sugar (raw sweeteners, fruit, coconut sugar, and maple are fine), no beer or liquor (red wine is cool but in limited quantities), and very little gluten (only the gluten found in sprouted grain breads).

But every year when I do these diets, I always work in cheat days! Because three weeks is a long time! And when social events arise, I'm not gonna be that girl who passes up the cookies because she's on a cleanse. Ugh. Eyeroll. Anyway, when my friend Leslie said she was hosting a tea party on Sunday and making vegan cookies, I said "Count me in!"

We gathered around 4 p.m. on Saturday at Leslie's place way out in the 'burbs. She had this spread waiting for us! Not everything on this table is vegan, but most of it is. Leslie is vegetarian, but she used to be vegan, so she's sensitive to our needs.

For the teas, there was Earl Grey, a Winter Night Tisane that Leslie blended herself, and Leslie's homemade Vegan Chai. Leslie makes the BEST chai!

I tried all the teas several times!

Leslie made it so that, if I wanted to be good, I could have. She had herbal tea and homemade coconut date balls, so it wasn't necessary for me to cheat. But um, there were Vegan Scones with blueberry preserves, so ...

Here were Leslie's homemade Date Balls and her Indian Tea Biscuits. The biscuits were light and flaky and perfect for dunking. Definitely my favorite cookie of the night.

I also brought along some raw cookies. I made Gena's Coconutty for Chocolate Chip Cookies from Choosing Raw. These are walnut-date cookies flecked with little cacao nibs. Here's the recipe. Loved these and I had a ton leftover for snacking on all week.

There was Turkish Delight, and my, was it delicious! This was the pistachio kind, which I like better than the rose flavor.

No tea party is complete without Biscoff Cookies! On the scale of accidentally vegan cookies, Biscoff is tops (yes, better than Oreos in my opinion)!

These were one of the few savory snacks — Indian-Spiced Spring Roll Bites. They provided a nice relief when the sugar seemed like too much.

The party was lovely, and I couldn't think of a better excuse to cheat. And surprisingly, I felt just fine after eating all that sugar. Or so I thought ...

About three hours after the party, after I'd had my kale caesar salad dinner and was preparing for bed, I started feeling weak and shaky and just uncomfortable. It was totally weird, like I was having a sugar crash. And I had problems sleeping, which never happens. I'm wondering if my body, after eating such a clean diet for almost two weeks, just didn't know what to do with all that sugar. I've certainly gorged on sweets at potlucks before, but I'd never noticed that feeling. Then again, at potlucks, I'm usually also having wine, and that might offset any weird sugar crash feelings.

Anyway, I don't regret my tea party cheat. Totally worth a few hours of sugar crash discomfort! But I'm back on the wagon today, and I feel great. I'll be back tomorrow with a regular recap post of what I ate today (and what I will eat tomorrow).


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Certainly a delicious, worthy cheat day! I hope you feel 100% better.

Sarah said...

looks great!

biscoff is so superior to oreo.

poopiebitch said...

I'm still working my way through the leftover chai she sent home with me! And those cookie things she made were the best.

Susan said...

Looks delicious, definitely worth going off plan for!

The Preppy Vegan said...

It's official: I need new friends. Where do you find these fantastic people?