Eating raw in Anglesey

When I’m at home with my Nutribullet, my Kenwood food processor, my Tupperware drawer and my sprouting trays life is relatively easy.  But now I’ve stepped away from the familiarity of my kitchen and my choreographed routines I think it’s going to be a whole new world of difficulty.

I’m in Anglesey for 4 days and 3 nights and I’m sharing a house with omnivores.

I’m away from all my mod cons, my frozen nuts and berries, my dried fruit selection, my nut milk, my 4-stage-banana-ripening conveyor belt and there aren’t any shops near the cottage.

This is going to be a challenge.

Whilst I’m somewhat used to planning my food intake it’s typically just for the next 10 hours of my working day (and then I get to come home to cupboards full of raw).  I have trouble following recipes, half marathon training plans, I don’t usually even write a shopping list but here I am on holiday committed to a 4-day meal plan.

But I concede to this abnormal rigour because without it I might be tempted to eat the heathen food.  So over the last week I had (with great difficulty) been deciding what I was going to feel like eating and how much of it I was going to feel like eating during this 4 day period so that on arrival in Anglesey I could head to the nearest supermarket and get myself fully armed before heading into the isolated locale of this cottage.

Asda was the nearest supermarket and this is what I bought:

The ASDA receipt

Illegible? Basically a lot of fruit and veg and 100g of nuts

I also put some home-made essentials into my hand luggage on packing day:

  • 1lt of spinach and kale smoothie
  • I planned to add this to a shop bought smoothie to healthy it up, eek it out and meal it up.
  • 450ml date bake (dates, prunes, bananas, Brazil nuts, pecans, frozen berries all blended to taste)
  • 2lt of cauliflower rice, rocket and carrot shavings
  • 900ml melon and kiwi fruit salad
  • 450ml of houmous (chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, rocket and water all blended to taste)
  • 1 large avocado

And some shop bought comforts:

  • 4 apple pie nakd bars
  • 1 bag of date cubes
  • 1 pack of pineapple flavoured raisins

And the staple of every raw vegan; bananas.  I had travelled with 10 bubble wrapped variously ripened bananas.

But do I have enough calories?  Am I going to eat like a king or a pauper?

120 days raw

I went raw for vanity.  I didn’t care about the ethics of animal husbandry.  I cared about the fact that I looked awful: I was overweight, on the less forgiving side of 35 and I was about to be layed off again from running (a long-standing ligament problem).

I couldn’t afford a slide into misery or a wander into the crap eating territory that had accompanied my last period of serious injury in 2011 and 2012 (it had been too long a walk back to sanity).  So I decided to go raw.

I knew I looked and felt better when I ate lots of fruit and veg.  I was raw back in 2005 [2 out of 7 days and for 2/3 of my meals the rest of the time].  Back then I was lean and vital and I could run a 20min 5k on a steady effort.

So I set a date (1st September 2013) and then I stopped eating cooked food.  It was absolutely no big deal.  I didn’t do much cooking anyway (I was a tuna-out-of-a-can type of person), and when I wasn’t having a feed on the over-processed, 2-for-1, chocolate and crisp offers from Tesco, I was a fruit and veg whore. I got through at least 10-15 pieces of fruit and veg a day.

My greatest challenge has been living in a non Raw world and the constant planning and preparation that becomes vital if you don’t want to be caught out on the hop with limited options.

The planning and preparation is constant, regimented and it can be a bind – if I want homous for the weekend then I absolutely have to start sprouting on Tuesday – but on the plus side I’m now using all the once dormant accessories that came with my food processor.

I’ve experienced the consequences of a lazy Sunday afternoon not spent chopping, juicing and blending for the week to come.  I’ve either fasted at work (not often) or I’ve chosen to make compromised food choices.  I’m not as raw as I could be and I’m not as vegan as I could be

  • I eat nuts.  In fact I eat too many nuts and there is no more a moreish nut than the cashew.
  • I eat sun-dried tomatoes and sometimes they are soaked in oil which I know hasn’t been cold pressed (the product is far too cheap)
  • I eat dried fruit.  Often.
  • I’ve drunk ‘gently’ pasteurized smoothies and I have at least 10 packets of ready chopped pineapples a week.  And when desperate (and not desperate) I eat nak’d bars

But I don’t get cravings for cooked food.

I do however get cravings for ice-cream and related junk.  Temptation has knocked on my door many times.  I’ve answered twice to frozen yoghurt and blueberry muffins.  It was pleasant enough during the moment of consumption but then I got belly rot and extensive bloating for a few days (the offer of a seat on the tube is a story for another post).

I wish I could say that the experience of eating the muffins and yoghurt was prohibitive and too high a price to pay but I actually thought ‘I could take this pain and discomfort for the occasional bite of the forbidden fruit’.

However I did chase down the wagon and I climbed back on.  I’m still on it and I’m writing about the journey.