My name is Rawbin. I’m addicted to raw food and sparkly sunshine. I have two cooked teens and a non-raw husband. I began my raw journey early summer 2007. Rewind a few years to see health issues including allergies, abdominal surgeries, and weight problems. Fast-forward to present and find I’m feeling symptom free almost all the time. I’m thinner and healthier. When I stick with raw food and remain meat, gluten, & preservative free, I notice that my mind is clearer, my energy is high, and my need for sleep is low. Unfortunately, I get to feeling so great, that I feel invincible. I occasionally go into denial or, in a way, self-sabotage. I start thinking that maybe I could eat a little cooked food, some wheat or cheese, perhaps? But then I only crave more. Sometimes I can get away with it, but often times it hits me hard with belly pains, acne, & headaches. I get bloated, crampy, sluggish, and irritable. A few days all raw and I’m feeling magically healed again!
Each morning I get up with the sunrise. I have certain things I do every morning, but try as I might, I can never do it in the same order every day, making it difficult to stick to a set routine. Let the dogs out. Put on my yellow bumblebee boots to feed the horses. Lure the escapee goat back into her pen. Make a green smoothie, which I share with my family. Make salad for hubs and daughter. Rough house with the dog. Offer fruit & veggie scraps to chickens. I skin brush, then bathe, but I only shampoo my hair once a week. I try to check email and twitter messages last, because they’re distracting.
In my ideal routine, I intend to exercise, practice the piano, or do housework, but often those things are forgotten until bedtime, when I vow that tomorrow, I’ll do it first thing.
Recently, my “routine” has been altered because we’re working on the grandparent’s old place, built in 1920 called Bayfields. We’ve been camping there a few nights a week, fixing, winterizing, running back and forth for school, work, and feeding animals. The house has no cable TV, no phone, and no internet connection. Cell phones have no bars. It’s peaceful.
That said, here’s a sample of my week, my way:
Thursday Up with the sun. Worked in the kitchen, preparing raw dishes to share at the Spirit Bliss Thanks Living Dinner. Made sprouted almond milk (needed the almond pulp for Coconut Maca Cream Pie). Pot of teeccino(pretend coffee) to drink with my almond milk. Mesquite Apple Pecan Crisp. Kale salad using fresh picked kale from my sister’s garden and a raw tahini dressing. Saved coconut water in a cool green jar. Finally, I whipped up a huge green smoothie using all leftover scraps: almonds, coconut water, banana, kale, spinach, pecans, maple, and apples. Printed labels for my dishes, listing their wholesome fresh ingredients. Sewed smiley-face-flower-patches onto my old jeans to make them feel special again. On the way to visit my parents before dinner, I snacked on avocado and raw flax crackers. I hiked with my sister around Bayfields to share plans for next year’s orchard, barnyard and garden.
We arrived at Spirit Bliss Farm with 2 pies, a salad, and “fresh squeezed” coconut water. I was blown away by the spread of great looking food and was glad I had my camera with me! I was especially thankful, because my hubs voluntarily came with me, giving up his annual day of S.A.D. feasting to try out my world. He couldn’t have picked a better day than this one! The drive was beautiful, the day crisp, cool, and sunny. The place was filled with wonderful friends and there was plenty of yummy food sampling. There were Natural Zing samples. There was homemade sauerkraut and raw pumpkin nut-cheez-cake.
At one point, Jeff, president of Natural Zing, asked if anyone wanted to go out and pick up Mike, a stranded motorist. Not knowing who Mike was, but thinking if he’s raw, he should be here, I volunteered. As my hubs handed me the car keys, he asked me, “Do you know this guy?” Well, no, but I left Spirit Bliss armed with cell phone, a GPS, and Mike’s number. When I arrived at the gas station I found Mike and Iva, who I remembered meeting before. They were happy, grateful, and hungry… a perfect combination for a Thanks Living Dinner, don’t you think?
Friday Woke at sunrise craving raw pie. Posted a slideshow on Twitter, labeling food pics before I forgot what they were. Off to Bayfields to meet with repairman. While he tinkered in the basement, I tinkered in the greenhouse. As I set my first 2 plants (cilantro and basil) in their sunny new home. Scavenged the fridge for food. Opting for portables, I grabbed celery and clementines. Later daughter practiced driving, picked up book drive donations, to my sister’s, where we dug up kale plants and lettuce seedlings. Back at Bayfields, hubs convinced me to “just be still” for a moment. At dusk, we were outside admiring the beauty of fall. We dined together, I had kale salad. They had sad spaghetti. I shared greens, tomatoes, peppers, and celery. We enjoyed apple crisp. I could hear them whispering secretly, sneaking cookies in the kitchen. I ate a piece of raw cashew/cacao cookie from my purse.
After dinner movie plans were next door home. We puttered around a while, changing lightbulbs, pulling off wallpaper, poking into closets... The movie was good ( Michael Clayton ) and microwave popcorn was served. So much for a 100% raw day. I polished off a whole bowlful without guilt.
Saturday Woke up at Bayfields, glowing windows. Looked outside to see the sun just peeking up over the water. By the time I found my camera, the sunlight was blinding. Filled the blender with celery, agave nectar, spinach, greens, almond butter & coconut oil. No vitamix, so it was lumpy/stringy. Shared with hubs, who was careful not to complain... we all have a 2nd toothbrush for our 2nd house, but he doesn’t want to encourage a 2nd vitamix. Finished off apple crisp. While sitting at the bay window watching swans glide by, my daughter and I sat and talked. Grabbed an avocado and hopped in the car filled with trash bags full of wallpaper and prehistoric drugs from medicine cabinets, first to the recycling center, then home to feed hungry animals. With vitamix, I blended up more maple/mesquite/cinnamon sauce for another apple crisp. Whipped up raw tahini dressing.
Dinner with Mom and Dad suddenly became a traditional turkey dinner for nine! I grabbed a bowlful of kelp noodles with cooked vegetarian spaghetti sauce. Out to the market for more food. Back at Bayfields, I noticed sails and little boats were just put away for the winter. In the kitchen, my brother and I worked as we chatted. He cooked beans while I made salad. He put out a veggie platter while I sliced apples for the dessert. My sister-in-law and I peeled potatoes. We all sat together, I had portabella mushrooms, leftover kale salad, serving of mashed potatoes(not raw). Everyone tried my raw dessert except Dad. With his diabetes, I hoped raw food would help him. He refuses to try anything raw and tonight was no exception. Maybe I should tell him it’s cooked.
Sunday Woke late today (6:30am) Slept with daughter because she’s still a little “creeped out” in the creaky, old house. From under the covers I had a full view of the 2nd floor patio. Grey day. Wet oak leaves blown into little swirls around the corners. Hubs left to feed hungry creatures at the other house. Made a green lumpy with green powder(my mix of spirulina, barley & wheat grass), bananas, almond butter, and young thai coconut. My daughter eats her usual bowl of cereal with milk. She declines a green lumpy.
Hosted coffee hour at church with my best friend this week. She brought cookies and cakes. I brought fruits and veggies. My older daughter was packed and ready for her ride back to college. Car stocked with raw snacks and two dogs. First pit-stop, with my permission, both girls ran to a fast food restaurant. I walked the dogs and ate in the parking lot while they were inside. Rain combined with holiday traffic, a 5 hour drive became 8. Car filled with the smell of clementines. Said our goodbyes and younger daughter and I headed back. Driving home was easier, less traffic, but encountered snow and fog. I had walnuts, grapes and celery for munching. I ate all my carrots and both grapefruits, not because I was hungry, but because I was tired and munching kept me awake. Eventually pulled off to nap on an exit ramp for a few hours. Got home at 2:30am.
Monday Slept late, daughter missed the bus, rushed morning routine. To Bayfields to shampoo carpet. I ate a plate of leftover sad food from Saturday night. Contained foods I’m allergic to. Shampooed the carpet a second time. Very perfumey smell. Best friend brought fresh greens from her garden. I really wasn’t hungry and was totally regretting my food choices that morning. We shared raw lunch with my tahini/spinach/basil dressing on tomato, red pepper, and celery. Then warm portabella mushrooms with shitake mushroom gravy. Still tasty apple-no-longer-crisp for dessert.
Home to shower and change for Annapolis Chorale practice. I finally got my voice back! At practice they always have water and cookies for sale. I brought a bag of organic apples to place on the sale table so people have a healthier choice. They sold 2.
Tuesday Woke with sinus headache. Wheat or carpet shampoo? Sometimes headaches go away on their own and since it was mild, I opted for not taking anything for it. Had a simple green smoothie of just spinach and grapes. Dropped off daughter at school with 7 boxes for book-drive.
Drove to Natural Zing for an experimental workday. Ate the sweetest clementines and cherries together during the drive. Jeff greeted me with my favorite snack: a Wild Bar! I admired pounds of packages of raw cacao, goji berries, nut butters, and spiced olives. Thought up a nice mental shopping list as the day went on! During lunch back at Spirit Bliss, I grabbed red chard from the dome to snack on as I worked. Jeff gave me a mini tour of what was growing. Was excited to see volunteer parsley sprouting in big patches outside. He said I could have some for my greenhouse! I blended a kale, banana smoothie for lunch using their blendtec. Helen brought in leftover raw pies from the Spirit Bliss dinner.
Headache was so bad that I was no longer hungry. Smells, sounds, and light were overwhelming. Migraine- full swing. I needed 2 excedrin and 6 hours of darkness. I tried not to complain, but I did anyway. Whine, whine, whine. Driving home I arranged for someone to meet me halfway. Daughter drove me home and offered me excedrin. Then I went straight to bed.
Wednesday Woke without alarm, feeling magically better. Discovered their produce scraps still waiting in the kitchen. Chickens were happy to see me. Offered horses our corncob door ornament. Onion bread for the dehydrator, opened last young thai coconut and made savory soup for breakfast. Later, I drank the coconut water while eating grapes. Worked on computer, phone calls, cleaned kitchen, then rewarded myself with a sweet maca nog from last of almond milk. Herbal tea with honey. Lunch was sea tangle kelp noodles with raw cashew alfredo sauce (takes 30 seconds with vitamix).
Out the door to choir practice with daughter. Bayfields dinner, eating spinach, young greens, tomatoes and tahini dressing in the kitchen. Must sleep, another exciting day at Natural Zing!
Yeah, I’m liking it my way.
Rawbin is a happy, sparkly, deeply compassionate person who also happens to be a core member of the raw food community. She lives in Maryland with her two kids and husband.Rawbin blogs and updates her twitter regularly.