Saturday, March 5


Chris mentioned to me that we needed to eat more vegetables.  Even the kids were requesting vegetables.  

It's not that I didn't know we needed them, I just always thought of veggies as afterthoughts.  I love vegetables.  Love them.  But I've only known them as side-dishes and casserole ingredients.   More and more, our veggies consisted of a bowl of green beans warmed up at the last minute to serves beside our meat dish.  

Around the time the kids started requesting more salads, I had an email in my inbox describing a raw detox.  Raw veggies? Veggies were enough of a stretch for me, but raw?? And yet, somehow, it intrigued me.

And so we did it.

Breakfast on the first morning was easy enough: FRUIT!  The kids were thrilled.  The girls ate an entire bag of grapes in one sitting.  And then lunch rolled around.  I started with a pep talk.  Basically, I said:  

God gave us a pretty cool gift in our tastebuds.  He didn't have to make things taste good.  He could have made everything flavorless. Or He could have made things just taste decent or bitter to warn us of poison.  But He gave us all kinds of flavors to enjoy.  Unfortunately, a lot of the foods we eat as treats are not natural things the way God made them.  They are fake chemicals that lie to our brains and make us "feel" good, which makes us want more.  The flavors are strong and we stop liking real foods and choose fake instead.  We're going to do a week of raw fruits and veggies to rewire our brains to help us remember how good real food is.  Things might taste "meh" for a couple days while our brains adjust, but you're going to find yourself liking things you never would have imagined. Until then, no complaining.  This is what we're eating.  It is good for you, so even if you don't like it, you can know that it's healthy and that your body likes it even when your mouth doesn't.

And then I gave them their plates.  I didn't think to take a picture at the time, but our plates looked something like these taken by this fun photographer:

I actually left carrots off the plates because I knew it was the one vegetable they liked.  I wanted them to try new things and appreciate new flavors.  We had red pepper smiles, cucumber noses, broccoli ears, and cauliflower hair.  And they ATE it!  Well, first they rearranged each others' plates and made angry eyebrows and such.  But they had fun doing it before they had fun eating.  

The best part? No ranch dressing.  They were such good sports.  I was very proud.  I wasn't such a good sport, but I didn't let it show.  

The kids did great the entire week.  Honor's dark circles disappeared.  My skin had a glow.  But they all wanted snacks MUCH more frequently.  Salad lunches didn't stay with them long.  We upped the raw seeds and nuts for proteins and fats.  I added olive oil in as a dressing a few times.  I also added in raw oatmeal for a grain.  They loved this.  

Raw, Soaked Oatmeal

2 cups large oats
4 cups milk (can blend with banana for extra sweetness)
*soak overnight or a couple hours (we prefer 2-3 hours)

chia seeds
nut butters
pureed banana
pumpkin seeds
chopped fruit
chocolate ice cream

Yes, we topped ours with chocolate ice cream.  Raw and amazing.  You really must try this.

Raw Chocolate Ice Cream:
3 frozen bananas
2 Tb cocoa (or raw cacao powder, we cheated and went with cocoa)
*Puree in the food processor, add milk if needed to thin out.

Fruit, oatmeal, or smoothies made up our breakfasts.  For a great smoothie recipe, click on that luscious strawberry photo above to a great blog.  For our raw week, we had smoothies for breakfast on most mornings.  Ours looked a lot like this recipe, except that we added 1-3 cups of spinach, kale, or raddiccio.  It made the color rather funky, but the taste didn't change.  These really stayed with us through the mornings.

And we made it.  5 days raw.  While it wasn't my goal, I lost 6 lbs by day 6.  I never did stop craving warm, gooey foods.  It was a texture thing.  I wanted soup.  Which reminds me, a word to those considering it:

Be gentle with re-entry to cooked foods.  Start with a very boring veggie soup.  Veggies, water, and sea salt. That's it.  For your next meal, you might do brown rice and veggies.  GENTLY add foods back in.  Do not go out for ribs or pizza no matter how badly you crave them.  We went in gently and my stomach still didn't like it.  They kids were fine though, so who knows.


Nezzy said...

Ya are always talkin' about my 'strong' willpower but I don't think I could of held out a full week on this one.

I can see me faintin' at the woodpile doin' chores (and my wood~curls) Heeehehehe...yep I do.

I also wear 'Farm Boys' ten pound boots out there!!! I don't need no stinkin' gym!

God bless and congratulations on a job well done.

Jenni said...

We have soaked oat groats and barley for breakfast sometimes. Danny eats them pretty often on days he is working from home, but I'm usually just grabbing a piece of peanut butter toast on my way out the door in the morning. We mix oat groats and barley half and half, rinse, fill a container with the grain and enough water to cover, refrigerate and allow to soak until soft enough to eat (about 2-3 days, I think). When they're ready to eat, we dish out about 1/2 to 1 cup with a little coconut sugar and some almond milk on top. It doesn't seem like much, but that little bit is enough for Danny, too. It's pretty filling and really tasty.
I'm really thinking we will do this once the weather warms up more. I don't know if I can get the kids to do it while school is in session, though, so maybe summer for them.

Andrea said...

There is no way we'd survive that. No. Way. LOL

Jenn said...

Jenni, I'll have to try that! You're the 2nd person to mention coconut sugar. I haven't been able to find it locally and had never heard of it before this week.

I know going raw sounds kinda wild, but we are the meat-eating-est family you have ever met. Seriously, we were hardly touching veggies. BIG on comfort foods and sweets. If my family can do this, I think anyone could. BUT, all 6 of us were kind of feeling a desperate need for change. It helped that we were all on board with it.

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