Monday, February 7, 2011

Some Diet Notes or Raw Pea Soup

This morning I decided to make one of my favorite recipes. It is a raw pea soup. It is made by putting one small bag of frozen peas in a blender with enough water to cover it and about an inch more. Blend until creamy. This may necessitate pausing the blender and stirring occasionally (make sure the blender is really off before you stir!) and even adding a little pure filtered water. Then add a 1/3 cup of tahani and blend. Then add one zucchini and blend. Then add a small bowl of salad greens (baby romaine is what I used) and blend. Then sprinkle a small amount of Celtic or Himalayan Salt (these have some ionic and colloidal minerals). Then add about two tablespoons of lime or lemon juice. Blend. More tahini can be added to make it creamier. Pour the soup base into a container (half full). Then add Hecho Talent Salsa for thick chunks and/or finely grated peeled sweet potato (there is a device I have that makes it have the texture of spaghetti and which can be further softened by a quick blanche, just dipping them momentarily in boiling water). Then add some flax oil for some Omega 3's.

The soup is thick enough to make a creamy salad dressing, especially when dill is added.

Plan on eating all this soup within about 3 days. It is a raw food and it is high in enzymes which will keep breaking down the compounds (in a good digestive way).

The main advantage of eating raw is that the food in high in enzymes. I find that raw food diet to be very cleansing and would recommend that people try strict raw food for about 3 to 6 months.

There are some challenges to the raw food diet that are worth mentioning and are the reasons why I am not 100 percent raw:

(1) Cooking does sterilize the food well. When you are eating raw, you need to make sure the food is well cleaned. Blanching quickly is a good idea or soaking in a solution that removes pesticide or herbicide residues. Even if something is organic, there is some chance of contamination, since raw food can be trucked along side conventional food, sometimes over hot stretches of road, with truck exhaust filling the air. I usually go more raw in the spring and summer. It is not because raw food is too cold for the winter. It is possible to "warm without wounding". The food is still raw and uncooked if the temperature of the heat merely warms the food to the hot coco level. But I find that I prefer being on raw foods when I can get fresh local farm produce that is harvested in the morning of the day it is sold and handled with care. This food feels superior to most truck and grocery raw food. In the winter time, the harvests of this fresh food are less (with the exception of kale). It is also important to consider what kind of composting technique is used by organic growers, especially when fecal matter of certain animals and/or humans is used. There is a way of super heating the compost so it is fully broken down and nutrient rich. There is also a sloppy way of doing this where live parasites may be transfered to the food, and if not sterilized by cooking, and can have a severe impact on health.

(2) Raw food, especially if you do not use dried and frozen food (both methods can keep the food essentially raw, but do reduce the enzyme content by about 50 percent, both have methods of cheating, of using too much heat to dry them faster and thus making it less raw or blanching with too much heat before freezing), spoils fairly fast, which means that you have to plan better and prepare food more often. While this is possible, modern life is very busy and routines are easily upset by periodic emergencies. I found that food would often spoil. I eventually compromised by having a stock of frozen food and cultured food (like olives, sauerkraut, kombucha, coconut milk kefir, and organic soy yogurt). These food, while not strictly raw, have raw food properties, since live cultures are active or were active in many of them. These things help the intestinal flora too.

(3) There are some bigger challenges when you are traveling and being raw. You can usually find places with salad bars. The food is fresh, though the salad greens are usually soaked in sodium bisulfide, a preservative. It is a relatively safe chemical compound, but sometimes these compounds induce an allergic reaction. A few place have smoothies and fresh juices that can keep one going. You can bring fresh carrots and apples, some raw food health bars, and Vita-Mineral Green powder (mixed in water gives a lot of nutrients). A cooler filled with good stuff helps, especially on short trips. You eventually run out. I found that I would stop at grocery stores and get some apples and carrots, and occasionally get lucky by finding some other things.

(4) Some food seems to process well cooked, like tomatoes and like the legume family in general. It seems that cooking does make legumes more digestible. After trying a lot of sprouting and soaking methods to get them to taste good, I decided that cooking them was okay, at least some of the time. Legumes are the main protein source when you are vegan and are leaning towards more raw food.

(5) I have found a lot of value in herbal teas and feel they are very compatible with a raw food diet. I would not water to deprive myself of their benefits just to be completely consistent with a dietary rule. The only rule I am very consistent with is to not eat animals or animal products (eggs and dairy). This is more for ethical reasons.

I find that if I am going to describe my diet using modern labels, it comes out like this:

mostly organic
gluten free
low glycemic
semi-raw food

with herbal teas
with pranayama breathing
with microclustered water
with himalayan salt

The raw food pea soup covers nearly the whole spectrum.

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