In honor of plant protein month, a few of us at the cafe have committed to a spring cleaning challenge for our bodies. The goal was to drop all animal products, and go raw if possible for 15 days. Our Manager Alan has been eating vegetarian, Chef Dan and myself have committed to eating a raw vegan diet. The last few weeks at least for myself have been eye opening. I’ve eaten vegan on and off for quite some time and really didn’t think this would be that difficult for me. Well, I was mistaken.
First let me tell you what doing this challenge did do for me… It brought back a few old habits, like starting the morning with fresh lemon water. I used to be militant about this. But through the fall and a particularly cold and snowy winter, I shifted to hot lemon water, then hot tea, and eventually my nemesis, coffee. Black or with a splash of cashew milk, but somehow coffee had weaseled it’s way back into my life. Well within 3 days of going raw I didn’t want it anymore. I found the best replacement, a green breakfast smoothie that became my morning staple. It left me full and satisfied with tons of energy to start my day. I will leave my easy recipe at the bottom of this blog. Its a must try for everyone, vegan or not.
I also noticed I was sleeping better and that I had dropped a few pounds on the scale, always a little bonus as we approach summer. However, after day 5 I was really struggling with dinner. The days are still chilly here and all I wanted was something warm for dinner. I tried multiple techniques, raw lasagna (thanks to Chef Dan, which was amazing!), raw soups heated in the dehydrator, being a few. Nothing quite replaced the warmth that I was craving. That’s when I turned to raw desserts. :( Shocking for me to do, but I really felt I needed something more. So every evening after dinner I would have a raw dessert. I tried lots of recipes at home. My favorite was an avocado pudding. Leaning towards the raw desserts did reverse any weight loss I had experienced, but I did feel satisfied.
Now that I have completed the 15 day challenge, I have stayed raw during the day and put in cooked vegan food for dinner. I will complete this month being vegan. I like the break it gives my digestive system and I have so much energy it makes it easy. I truly believe in listening to your body, it will usually tell you what it needs. Cleaning your system with a raw diet is definitely challenging but rewarding. I have a new found respect for the raw foodies in my life.
Green Breakfast Smoothie
2 handfulls spinach
1 to 1 1/2 frozen banana
1-2 dates (soaked in water for 10 min)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp spirulina
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 cups cashew milk (depending on desired thickness)
Blend and enjoy!