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A month of Raw – a recap of February-In-The-Raw

Posted Mar 01 2011 9:28pm

The first annual February-In-The-Raw is complete! And what a month is has been. Through the laughter and tears, cursing and calmness, hormones and green smoothies, this year’s February-In-The-Raw has given me more than I had ever expected.

A glance back at Week 2 of February-In-The-Raw, I said that my emotions were all over the place, my skin had taken a butt-kicking, and my energy levels had been off the charts. I wasn’t having cravings to binge and my workouts, due to the great boost in energy, had been great. The first two weeks of raw foods had me feeling a little all over the place, physically and emotionally, and a somewhat unsure of the raw food hype. Fortunately, after two more weeks of a basically 90% raw food diet, a believer was made out of me.

The experience of February-In-The-Raw has been fantastic, I feel amazing. My body is still in the act of balancing things out – not to mention, getting off the Pill gave it a little more work to do – but I truly feel the raw foods has helped heal some internal wounds. Overall, this is what February-In-The-Raw has done for me:

  • More energy than I have ever experienced in my life
  • Thicker, strong and healthier looking hair, skin, and nails
  • A feeling of lightness and satiety – I never weighed myself through the process to see any weight loss or gain
  • Extreme emotional ups and downs that have since mellowed and stabalized
  • Little to no cravings to binge
  • A highly efficient digestive system
  • Mental clarity
  • An overall satisfied perception of self

That last one is the real kicker. I just have a warmer, gentler, more loving perception of myself. That is what made me a believer in February-In-The-Raw.

Where am I going to go from here now that February is over? Well first of all, I’m going to enjoy tonight’s featured recipe Nontraditional Vegan Chili, and take a more laid back approach to raw food – more of a 75:25, raw to cooked. Still aiming for days of completely raw, but I’m giving myself a little more slack on the ropes to enjoy my ever so loved vegan baked goods.

Now, let’s talk Chili throw down. Round one had Vegan White Chili calling the shots. Not to spicy, punched full of flavor and texture, and a knock-out according to the Train. But now it’s time for round two and it looks like Nontraditional Vegan Chili may have taken charge of this throw down.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan spread
  • 2 green peppers – chopped
  • 1 red pepper – chopped
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms – halfed
  • 2 carrots – chopped
  • 1 large tomato – chopped
  • 1 of each black beans & garbonzo – or any bean of your choice – drained but not rinsed
  • 1/4 c. pickled chopped jalopeno + 1/2 tbsp pickling liquid (optional – gives it some heat, add with caution)
  • 3 8oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 10oz can stewed chili and tomatoes (probably optional)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (optional)
  • 2 tsp chai seed – really thickens the chili and adds a boost of nutrition
  • 2 tsp carob powder – gives it a little somethin’ somethin’
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp clove

*Note: it seems like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are pantry goods. The recipe makes 6-8 servings and freezes very well.

Turn your crockpot on high heat. Place the oil and Earth Balance in the bottom and allow to warm, about 5 minutes. Toss everything into the crockpot, give it a good stir, turn the heat down to medium, and let cook for 6-7 hours. Serve. Enjoy.

Warning – this Nontraditional chili is spicy, so adjust to your tastes. Start slowly. You can always add, but you can not take out.

The Train and I enjoyed every firey bite, we like a little flame with our food.

Once our bowls were empty, our nasal passages cleared, and the sweat was wiped of our brows, we watched as the chili throw down came to an end.

Vegan White Chili, 4 stars out of 5. Nontraditional Vegan Chili, 4 1/2 star out of 5.

The Nontraditional came out on top due to its thick rich consistency, spike of spice, and starchy comforting goodness.

This was how our Chili throw down turned out, how about yours? How do you like your chili, medium, spicy, or fire torch?

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