Book Review, Healthy Living

A Month Hiatus…where in the raw has she been?

24 Comments 28 March 2012

A Month Hiatus…where in the raw has she been?

I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I last posted.  It has been an incredible time of living, learning, reflecting, and eating, but I just wasn’t ready to share until today.  Do you ever feel like you need to have everything all figured out before you can share something life changing with a friend?  After a month, I realized that if I waited until I had it all figured out, I’d never blog again!

I started Gluten-Free Cat because of my passion for sharing that living gluten-free doesn’t have to mean living without.  In fact, living gluten-free has opened my world of food so drastically that I’m no longer looking for the perfect bread replacement.  I no longer turn cartwheels in the cereal aisle when yet another company offers a gluten-free bowl of flakes. Finding a gluten-free muffin is a nice occasional treat, but I can take it or leave it.  And gluten-free cookies?  They’re just cookies.  I’m far more excited about the wide array of incredible foods available to us that are naturally gluten-free and incredibly healthy for our bodies.

I’ve found that the more natural and pure my food is, the happier my body is.

I spent all of last month eating nothing but raw food.  I enjoyed rich salads drenched in homemade dressings.  I pureed soups made entirely from raw produce.  I made my own nut milks, nut meats, and nut cheeses.  I’ve eaten a LOT of guacamole and didn’t think twice about the caloric intake.  I’ve even made desserts for dinner without guilt or judgement, because my dessert had the nutritional integrity of a well-balance meal.  I’ve eaten, eaten, and eaten, and I’ve probably lost about ten pounds.  And while I’m very happy that my spring clothes are back to fitting comfortably, the most important part is that I feel fantastic.

Raw Mango Banana Pie with Almond Crust

Raw Apple Pie with Almond Crust

And not once did I ever wonder, “How can I make this gluten-free?”  It was all naturally gluten-free.

I didn’t spend any time reading ingredient lists on packages to make sure things were gluten-free, because there were no packages.  Well, there was one.  The only package that I opened all month long was the package of nori that I needed for nut sushi and raw quiche salad. Package Ingredients: Nori.  Simple.

Raw Quiche Salad

I was a little concerned that switching to a raw food diet would impact my energy level.  I teach 4-6 fitness classes each week, and I have been training for a marathon since January. So I do need to choose my nutrients wisely.  But so far I’ve been able to successfully teach kindergarten, teach fitness classes, and run up to 13 miles at a time fueled by raw foods.  I’ll let you know if that changes.  The next long run is 15, yikes!

This week I’ve been incorporating a little more cooked food into my diet, but I am craving mostly raw foods right now.  And one thing I’m learning is that I need to listen to my body.

So what does this mean for the curious Gluten-Free Cat?  I’ll keep learning and sharing, but you may find that I’m doing fewer product reviews and temporarily even fewer recipes. Right now I’m learning from the experts.  I’m in love with raw food cookbooks like these:

I don’t have it all figured out.  But I’d like to share everything that I’m learning with you. So I hope you’ll stick with me as the focus of this blog changes a bit.  As always, everything will be gluten-free.  And who knows, maybe you’ll try something new along with me!

Readers, dish!

  • What has your experience been with raw foods?
  • Do you have a favorite raw foods dish?
  • How has changing your diet impacted your life?

Your Comments

24 Comments so far

  1. Betsy says:

    I’ve missed reading your blog! Welcome back!

    I love eating raw foods. I have been a bit lazy this past month with my juicing. When it is cold outside, I find it difficult to consume smoothies or juice.

    I have Everyday Raw sitting on my nightstand right now. You must go to his restaurant in OKC. It is so amazingly yummy! I would love to take their course someday. For now I need to get a dehydrator and up my raw food content again.

    I love that when I eat raw I am not having to worry if it is gluten and dairy free. I love that I feel better with a higher raw content. Just wish I could hire a raw chef to live with us. :)

    I look forward to hearing more about your raw adventure and marathon training.

    • Thank you, Betsy! It’s great to be back! Oh, you are right, I MUST visit Matthew Kenney’s restaurant! I just checked out the menu and it looks divine!

      I love my dehydrator, but I wanted to share with you that my entire month of raw eating was done without using it. I did use my food processor and Vitamix daily, but the recipes I used were so simple that anyone can make them with the most basic kitchen appliances. (A good juicer is a bonus!!) I just dusted off the dehydrator to make some veggie pulp crackers this week.

      Have a lovely, healthy day!

  2. Alta says:

    PLEASE share more raw recipes! I love eating raw – while I’m neither a raw foodist or vegan (or even vegetarian), I do try to incorporate a lot of raw foods in my diet in the form of smoothies and salads, and recently even did a week-long 100% raw diet, partly to “cleanse” and partly just to see if I could. I do realize that for me, personally, I need some animal protein in my diet, but I do feel much better if I’m consuming LOTS of raw, fresh fruits and veggies. It’s encouraged me to enjoy even more salads and experiment with lots of raw foods. I’ll be excited to see what you come up with!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Alta! A full week of raw is fantastic! I’m glad you felt so good. I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I actually had energy rushes after meals instead of that post-meal funk. I’m not a raw foodist or vegan either, but I love raw meals and vegan meals, so the majority of my meals are raw/vegan. Hand me a good gf pizza and I’m putty in your hands though. :)

  3. Lynne says:

    Are you able to share the recipes for the photographed food? I am especially interested in the Raw Apple Pie with
    Almond Crust.

    • Heather says:

      Lynne, the raw apple pie is incredibly easy to make. For the crust, you blend 1/2 cup of soaked almonds, 2 dates, a little sea salt and a splash of olive oil. Press it into a dish. (A pie pan would be too big.) For the filling, blend 2 cored apples, 2 dates, and another dash and splash of salt and olive oil. Spread the apple mixture on top of the almond crust. EASY EASY and so incredibly delicious and good for you!!! No guilt eating an entire pie yourself. Hee hee.

  4. I love this post, Heather! :-) It’s so wonderful when we start listening to our bodies and change our blogs to better reflect who we are (or have come to be)! Woohoo for you! Those recipes look awesome. I’ve loved every raw dessert I’ve ever eaten, and enjoy many raw foods, but don’t eat them often enough. One must just get in the habit in some cases. 😉

    Owe you an email … it’s coming!


    • Heather says:

      Thanks, Shirley. It is quite amazing how good you feel when you listen to your body. It’s fun to look back at previous blog entries and to think, “Wow, I have changed so much since then!” The incredible thing is that most of the changes have come because of knowing bloggers like you who encourage us to try new things. xoxo!

  5. Vicky says:

    This food looks so colourful! I’m going to try going raw for a week or so in the Summer – I say Summer but in the UK that may not ever arrive due to the fact we’ve already had 2 very lovely days in the 20s already.

    Looking forward to your future recipes and I’ll certainly check out the recommended books!

    • Heather says:

      Vicky, you are going to LOVE it! I’ll bet your week spills over into the next few because you’ll feel so good. Make sure you eat plenty of fats to feel satisfied. Hemp seeds on salads, an ENTIRE avocado on a salad, and lots of nut meats, creams, dressings will help you feel full without that “I ate too much” feeling. Good luck!!

  6. Jamie says:

    Can you share the recipes of the pictures you posted? If I had to buy one of the books you recommended, where should I start? Thanks! :-)

    • Heather says:

      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’ve found that I’m blogging less and living more. :) I would probably start with Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Not only does she give incredible recipes, but she gives wonderful explanations of why she has chosen to eat raw foods, and she gives practical tips so you’re not living in the kitchen.

      I shared the apple pie recipe in response to Lynne’s comment above, and I’ll share the others in the next few weeks.

      Hope you are well, Jamie!

      • Jamie says:

        Thanks, Heather! Just ordered the book and wrote down the apple pie recipe. Hope you are well! The kids and I are moving to TX this summer to be close to my parents. Big, exciting changes ahead for us! :-) I am so impressed with your lifestyle and enthusiasm for healthy living! I have visions of us in high school p.e. many years ago… :-) Wish I lived closer to you- you would be a good influence on me! :-)

        • Heather says:

          Wow! Big changes ahead! Excited for you! Oh how I wished we lived closer too! I have a feeling we’d be thick as thieves running, sharing recipes, and laughing, laughing, laughing! I laughed so hard when I read your comment about PE class. We good girls tried so hard, but I hated it SO much! It’s hard to imagine that I went into fitness after my high school gym experience. Hugs to you!!!

  7. Lynne L says:

    Welcome back Heather! I just recently started reading about raw food…not something I had thought too much about, but it’s right up my alley. Good luck on your continuing journey of discovery…we would all welcome the recipes too!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Lynne! I didn’t dive right into the raw foods lifestyle. It took some time of dabbling and experimenting first. Happy reading, and bookmark few recipes to start the ball rolling.

  8. Deanna says:

    What a great experiment for you! I’ve never made it that long 100% raw. I’m not a huge fan of raw veggies, so I end up incorporating steamed veggies back in fairly quickly. I also found that, for me, I was freezing cold and very sluggish eating raw, but I tried it going into the fall. I want to try again this spring. I may be more of a seasonal raw eater.

    I hear you on loving that you don’t have to worry about any ingredients or reading labels or any of that. So much simpler, and overall, it felt incredibly healthy. I just have to figure out all the right ratios for keeping me fully fueled without going overboard on nuts, I think.

    • Heather says:

      I remember we talked about the body temperature issue during last year’s April in the Raw. I’m not sure what the difference was, but this time I didn’t have trouble at all. It may have been that I ate more calories this time, that I am running more, or a combination of the two. Seasonally raw sounds delicious. When Fall comes, I’m going to need some hearty soups though!

  9. Before becoming pregnant, I ate 100% raw for a few months. I went to a raw cooking class (and that was just a few weeks before I found out that I was pregnant) and it was amazing. The best chocolate pie ever is a raw food one with avocados.

    I didn’t stop eating a raw diet because I was pregnant though. But sometimes I wonder if it happened for a reason. I got really sick in my first trimester, and I stopped eating so much raw foods. I did still eat them, and made some of my favorite recipes.. but I also ate cooked foods.

    I always thought I would go back to eating a high raw diet, but about a year after my daughter was born we found out she was severely allergic to tree nuts and sesame. That cut out the majority of my favorite recipes that I used to make when I was following a raw diet.

    One of my favorite recipes is a creamy cucumber avocado dressing, and that’s something that I can still make because it’s nut-free. Sophie loves it too.

    I think it’s great to try new ways of nourishing our bodies. I really believe that raw, or high raw, is a very healthy way to sustain yourself. I don’t know what we would do without our green smoothies!

    Like I said above, I wasn’t able to sustain a raw food diet while pregnant.. and sometimes I wonder why it happened. I often think that maybe I couldn’t eat those foods while pregnant because my daughter is allergic to tree-nuts. It kind of makes you think. My mom said that eating eggs while she was pregnant with me was impossible, because she would get so sick if she tried to. Well I am allergic to eggs. Kind of interesting, isn’t it?

    • Heather says:

      Wow, Heather, that is fascinating! You’ve taken “listening to your body” to a whole new level!

      Yes, it would be really to eat high raw with a nut allergy. I think you’d starve! :) Your cucumber avocado dressing sounds delicious!

      Thanks for sharing your story!!

  10. AnnMarie says:

    Yeah! You are back! Missed your wonderful blogs and fun recipes! Good luck with the training! Hugs

  11. I think it’s great that you’ve decided to try something new. I really believe that our bodies go through phases of requiring different things and if we listen it tells us. We often get emails saying that our site is gluten free, which we’re not. We just opt to eat foods that naturally don’t have gluten. Nice to see you back. You were missed.

    • Heather says:

      Naturally gluten-free is my favorite way to go! That’s why I love your site. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t a gf site. I love your recipes!!

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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