Monday, August 24, 2009

Raw Chili Day!

Hiya Folks,

Looking at this picture just makes me smile! Meet Pat from Wyncote, PA. Pat is my newest raw student! We just had a fun in-home un-cooking class in her home! She is sooo nice!

Pat is a fitness trainer and working mom who is an Arnolds Way customer. Pat just loves the raw food diet, but she needed to learn more options for lunches at work....instead of just salad, salad, salad and some more salad. Did i mention salad? She's been getting a little bored lately.

Tonight we made lots of yummy things together that hopefully will give her more options for interesting meals to take to work that feel more like 'entrees'.

We made:
  • veggie chili: a chopped veggie salad with cilantro, that you top with a spicy sundried tomato sauce and nutcheeze. Yummo!
  • creamy asian vinaigrette: another option so she doesn't always have to have plain boring braggs vinaigrette that can top SO MUCH more than just lettuce. Use it to top a bowl of mushrooms for "marinated mushrooms" or to dress shredded beets for a spicy beetslaw, or to dress shredded carrots for a yummy carrot slaw. Delish!
  • spagehetti marinara: zucchini 'noodles' topped with sundried tomato italian herb sauce. this sauce can also double as pizza sauce or add a little zest to a boring salad!
  • cabbage slaw: we made a simple vinaigrette to go with the shredded cabbage, carrot and onion, but if she wants, she can top off the slaw with more than just the vinaigrette...she can boost this to the next level by topping that with the creamy cashew cheeze we made for a 'creamy coleslaw'. Talk about yum. Her coworkers won't KNOW it's not mayo!
  • toona salad: this is the salad i am becoming famous for!!! it really tastes like tuna salad! If you want the recipe, it's in Lisa Montgomery's new book, "Raw Inspiration." Buy it from me here! Send me an email!
  • mexican nutmeat: a sundried tomato pate with cilantro and spices. Delish! She can make this into a wrap or a sandwhich or plop on a salad. The same with the toona.
  • lemony cheezecake: we swirled chocolate cream into some of the sweet lemony cashew cream that was spread above a hazelnut, coconut, date crust! This will be yummy!

It was such a pleasure cooking with Pat. She is keen on making raw food a lifestyle she can live with, get healthier and healthier, and feel satisfied and not deprived. Thanks, Pat, for being such a great student!! She took diligent notes and feels more confident that she can make more interesting lunches!! I explained some basic principles of raw food prep to her and she totally caught on. I think Pat is going to be JUST FINE!!!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~

Aw, looking at the picture of Pat and me makes me smile, but I didn't feel that great today.

I'm still hoarse. I'm tired. I'm tense. I'm stressed.

I did take a good walk again with my mother this morning. Good we got that in. 2nd day in a row. That was good. But, it didn't take the stress away. I feel like i'm being pulled in 50 directions. I'm going to HAVE to start meditating regularly. I don't think there will be any way to get through all of this without it.

Lunch was problematic and that doesn't add to the good feelings about the day. I feel guilty about the 'Awesome Foods' prepackaged raw foods 'mini-binge' i had for lunch. 2 small 2 oz bags of Brad's Raw Chips, 1 container of 'toona', one container of 'turkey burgers', one container of 'fudge' and one bag of daikon chive chips.

I'm trying to recognize this episode as stress related. I've been on the phone all day with my catering partner for the Beckwith event coming up. It is 95% sure we will get the assignment, but still so much to resolve before their final decision is made. I just think this month is just going to be very very tough on me with the opera and this possible gig and i'm just busy from morning til night. I'll have to go easy on myself and not expect much. If i maintain my weight over the next month, that will be a success! After September is over, i can focus in on losing again.

Nevertheless, my partner, Susan and I will meet tomorrow at Restaurant Depot here in Manayunk to investigave some serving trays and other possible necessities for catering. We'll also meet Rachel, one of Michael Beckwith's people, at the Tindley Temple where the event is being held to look over the kitchen at the church. Since the event is not air conditioned, we want to be sure we'll have sufficient refrigerator space, etc... and get an idea of what we need to set up the kitchen. We should be closing in on the deal soon enough if all goes well. Wish us luck!

Nevertheless, although it's good news, i'm stressed by it! I'm stressed by everything these days. This opera thing is really really freaking me out. My mother had to remind me today, "Honey, are you being paid for this opera?" "No," i had to answer honestly. "Well, why don't you just do your best. Just relax and even if you're awful, what does it matter." I have to laugh. it DOES make me feel better to think of it this way. It DOES relieve the pressure.

You know what, i really need to work on my mental state and my emotional state. Meditation. The Secret. It's just becoming so so so necessary. It's eat. Or cope better.

The fact that i'm still hoarse is making everything more difficult. I have to stop reacting to it. And just accept. accept. accept. I have the first opera rehearsal next Tuesday, so hopefully, i can just get good enough for Tuesday where i can have a good portion of the opera memorized and the rest i'll use my music for. Over the following week, i'll keep learning and hopefully by Sept 13 at the performance, i'll have it down. I've been practicing mentally, but have not practiced vocally for days. The one good thing is that i've sung this role before.

The only thing i can imagine is that this hoarseness is a reaction to the high mold spores pollen right now. Either that, or it's stress. Or it's reflux. But, i've not been doing anything different to cause more reflux. And I've experienced this hoarseness at the changinging of the seasons before, so i'm pretty positive it's allergies.

I spoke with my catering partner, Susan Aman, a wonderful raw teacher and speaker, who also happens to be a Registered Nurse (who lost 50 lbs eating raw AND lost a giant tumor on her back ) about the hoarseness, asking if she thought it might be my allergy to mold. She agreed it probably was, that we are having spring pollen right now. She used to be very very allergic to pollen, in fact, but suggested I start taking Noni juice again, as after one week of doing Noni juice, her seasonal allergies improved 90%.

Tomorrow she is bringing me a bottle. I had finished the bottle i bought at the raw wedding fest in oregon. I'm willing to drink more of the vomity tasting elixer if it will make me feel better!!!

Well, cross your fingers for me and pray for me for strength to get through all that is going on. I know i need to work harder on my mental and emotional stuff. I just keep having to tell myself, "I may not be where i want to be...but i sure as heck am glad i'm not where i was."

No matter what, i'm still better at handling stress than i ever was.

My mother commented today, "You're so busy now. You like to keep busy. All you used to do before was lay and eat and watch TV."

You've come a long way, baby!

Michelle Joy xoxoxo

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