Welcome!

Hi, everyone, and welcome! I am a musician by trade: singer, voice teacher, conductor, composer. So why is a musician starting a blog called "thriving on raw?"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Great parody video by Frederic Patenaude

Along the lines of the popular "Sh*t people say" videos, here is a hilarious parody of raw foodists by Frederic Patenaude.  (Yes, I have said some of these things...). Enjoy!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year!

Wow - it's been a while since I've posted.  This fall I bought a house and moved, then had the busiest performing season of my life.  It's been grand, but it left little time for blogging.

Anyway - in December I went back for blood work.  You may recall that earlier in the year, the doctor had told me that my platelet count was low and he wanted to check again in a few months.  After some research, I decided to see if my increased use of spirulina was blocking my B12 intake, so I cut way back on spirulina and increased my animal protein intake a bit (coinciding with the cooler weather, in which I prefer to eat more cooked food anyway).

Results:  borderline.  The doctor thinks this may be my "normal."  So it's up, but just a little...so I have no idea if I affected anything or not.  In my normal "all things in moderation" way of looking at it, I've decided to keep my spirulina intake limited to once a week.  It does lovely things for my body in so many other ways - keeps my digestion running smoothly, is a great source of protein, is a natural detoxer, etc...I do want to keep it coming into my system.  But perhaps every day is a little too much.

Incidentally, I've grown used to the taste of spirulina and no longer have to hold my nose in order to drink it.  Amazing...

Christmas:  alas, for the first time in 2 years, I caught a cold.  But, hey, it's the only time in 2 years I've even been remotely sick (I don't count the car accident as an illness, since it was inflicted on my by someone else), so I must be doing something right.  I also stayed healthy until all my paid performances were done!

I found myself eating a bit too much chocolate - largely because people gave me lots of dark chocolate for Christmas gifts!  There's still quite a bit in my pantry but I've weaned myself off of it and back towards cacao.  I do still notice that whenever I have too many cooked meals or too much processed sugar (yes, even the small amount in extremely dark chocolate), my body screams at me and says "feed me raw stuff!"  So I listen and I do and then it's happy.  Until it screams at me to feed it an omelette...

It's a balancing act.

Lately, I've been craving citrus fruits, so today at Trader Joe's I picked up a bag full of minneolas.  Yum.

I will post when I can (and when I have something to say)!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I have been very, very busy!

It's autumn, heading for Christmas season, and like last year, that means posts will be few and far between.  Since I posted last, I've bought a house and moved, plus am getting ready for three concerts in which I am soloist and a fourth concert which I am conducting, and possibly a fifth that isn't confirmed, all between now and mid-December and that doesn't even count Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which this year falls on a Sunday, which means more work than usual!

I just finished a late lunch - a delicious bowl of organic Granny Smith apple, chopped up, with almond butter and almonds and cinnamon and sea salt on top.  It's one of my favorite dishes.  :)

With all the chaos of my schedule lately, I've been eating strangely, especially on weekends, but during the week I've been sticking to all raw as much as possible to balance things out.  Lots of greens, bananas, apples, and nuts, and green figs when I can find them.

Thanks to all of you who read my posts!  I'll try to squeeze a few in here and there...I expect to come up for air around New Year's Day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anemia

I had a complete physical at the beginning of August, and my bloodwork showed a low platelet count - anemia.  My doctor had me follow up a month later, and it was better, but I'm still borderline and need to follow up again in 3 months.

Since I wasn't sure what platelets were, I couldn't figure out how I could possibly be anemic - the only anemia I knew of was low iron in the blood, and between all the greens I eat, the dried fruits, and especially the cacao, there is no way I could be low in iron.  And I don't seem to be tired or lethargic, as I'd expect.

So I looked it up.  Apparently, there are different kinds of anemia.  A low platelet count means my blood might not clot as well as it should.  It is usually caused by an illness, but I'm not sick.  (Physical showed me as healthy as could be, except the anemia).  However, it can also be caused by a B12 deficiency.  I thought about it for a minute and realized that I'd been consuming spirulina almost daily lately.  Since spirulina contains a B12 analog, it's possible that it could be blocking the small amount of regular B12 I'm getting through my consumption of animal products.

So...I'm only going to have spirulina once or twice a week, and I will make a conscious effort to eat fish or turkey or eggs at least 3 times a week.  And I'll report back in December, after I have my blood checked again.  I'd like to solve this with my diet - that is always my goal.  We'll see...






Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brown turkey figs (with recipes)

Last week I discovered a fig I'd never heard of before:  brown turkey figs.  As you can see from the photo, they are a blend of brown and green on the outside, sort of like an apple.  On the inside, they are pink.  The flavor is very delicate.



I've tried a few recipes with success.

Here is one for a smoothie:

1 large handful spinach
4 medium brown turkey figs
water to the 16 oz line

The flavor is so delicate I'd almost describe it as floral.  Very lovely.


Here's another recipe based on a recipe from Ani Phyo's book "Ani's Raw Kitchen."  She calls hers "Goji berry sunshine cereal" and uses a raw cereal base for which she has a recipe elsewhere in the book.  (This is a fabulous book just for the photography of the food, let alone the delicious recipes).

Anyway, here is my version (a machine-free recipe):

Cut up three brown turkey figs into small pieces.  In a small bowl, mix together 5 heaping teaspoons of sprouted pumpkin seeds and one large handful of almonds.  Top with the fig pieces and a handful of goji berries.

I eat cereal dry, but if you're used to using nut milk (or regular milk, if you're not all raw and not allergic), go ahead and pour it on.

Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Creative picnicking

Yesterday I was invited to an outdoor party.  What to do about food?

I picked up 3/4 pound of raw kale salad from our local Whole Foods.  It's made with kale, pine nuts, dried cranberries, tomatoes, lemon juice, and olive oil.  So I brought that (to share) and had a huge plate of it for my main dish.  I supplemented it with fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, papaya) and some roasted Brussels sprouts - cooked, yes, but oh so good for me and delicious.  A glass of wine, several glasses of water, and I didn't miss a thing!

Today I found out one of my friends has been turned on to green smoothies by her daughter-in-law.  More people finding out how good they are is just a wonderful thing!

Ironically, I didn't want a green smoothie today.  Here's what I ate:

9:00 am:  16 oz water with a handful of chlorella tablets
11:00 am:  fresh almond butter on a banana with almonds, sea salt, and allspice; cup of coffee
4:00 pm:  leftover kale salad with some spinach thrown in to stretch it out
7:00 pm:  arugula with mashed avocado and lime juice (I ate the pulp from the lime after I squeezed it, too)
9:00 pm:  small scoop of Karyn's vanilla "ice cream" with almonds, raisins, and cacao nibs
10:00 pm:  Chocolate hazelnut "Jocolat" Larabar

As you can see, I didn't suffer from lack of greens.  I just decided I wanted to chew them today.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Learning lessons the hard way

Confession time.

Two weeks ago, I ate out on Thursday (spinach salad with (cooked) goat cheese)), Friday (gluten free pasta with shrimp - all cooked), Saturday morning (veggie omelet - cooked), Saturday evening (spinach salad with goat cheese again), and Sunday morning (asparagus omelet).  My nose started running and by Sunday evening I had a scratchy throat.  On the following Tuesday my nose was running like a faucet, my intestines started getting sluggish, and my face broke out.

My saving grace was that on Wednesday, I got on a plane (with lots of tissues) and went to spend a week with my family.  Several of them eat like I do, and all of them understand that I try to eat high raw.  I was able to share green smoothies every morning!  My sisters and I took a trip on Saturday to Trader Joe's.  When we were there, we bought three packages of romaine, a package of baby romaine, and two packages of arugula. By Monday it was all gone!

A typical day's food on my vacation:
Smoothie with baby romaine, bananas, and peaches
Coffee
Bowl of sprouted pumpkin seeds and raw almonds (I packed both of these in my luggage)
Larabar
Huge plate of arugula with a whole avocado and juice of half a lime
Bowl of almonds and raisins and unsweetened chocolate with a cup of decaf coffee

My nose is no longer running (two weeks later) but there is still some residual stuffiness.  (I'm quite sure this was a combination of detox symptoms and the start of ragweed season.  My allergies usually aren't this severe so early in August).  My digestion didn't return to normal until yesterday - a full week of "not normal."  (I won't go into details).  My skin is almost clear again.

I love to socialize with my friends, but I may occasionally have to just sip some iced tea while I'm out and eat at home!

Right now I'm finishing a spinach and frozen banana smoothie.  Yum.