Day 365 – Raw Chocolate Brownie – Take 2

Raw Chocolate Brownies - Take 2
Raw Chocolate Brownies – Take 2

This is day 365 and today I have made my final 365th different raw food recipe in 365 days…

There is no fan fare here – no champagne popping – no celebration – in fact it is an ordinary work day of emails, traffic and meetings – ordinary day when I get home dishes to do, dinner preparations, kids to drop off and pick up.  As usual, I’ve snuck in a little raw food recipe between the chaos.  This recipe is one chosen to start back where I started – with a raw chocolate brownie.

Here’s the recipe… if you want to read my reflection you can continue below the recipe 🙂

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup carob powder

1 cup medjool dates, de-pitted

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Process all ingredients together in a small food processor until the mixture is a little like potting mix – I kept mine a little chunky for texture this time around.

Press into a loaf tin and pop into the freezer.

For the icing…

1 1/2 avocados

1 Tbsp. cacao powder

2 Tsp. vanilla powder

dash of salt

2 Tsp. agave nectar

1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil

Process together in a food processor until smooth.  Spread over the brownie base and keep in the freezer until ready to serve 🙂

Delicious – as always… Ally x

My blog… continued….

In many ways starting back at the start is symbolic of the journey I’ve been on.  Initially I did not want to start on my raw food journey because I thought I was not the picture of true health and that people would judge me for that.  I wanted to look the part of the ‘healthy’ person.  1 year ago my BMI was in the healthy range but sitting on the upper end of that range (as it always has).  My skin was not perfectly clear even though I ate a healthy diet and drank plenty of water.  I walked regularly.  I was on no medications and my blood glucose and cholesterol tests were perfect.  The only thing a health check indicated was that I needed to drink less wine and do something about my stress levels as my blood pressure does tend to jump up.

It is 1 year on and my health check is identical – blood glucose and cholesterol perfect.  Blood pressure too high at times.  Drink too much wine.  Exercise enough and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.  Despite an increase in raw fruits and vegetables, my skin is still not clear and my weight is still on that upper cusp of acceptable BMI range.

The point is – I would never have started this Raw Food Journey if I had waited until I was, what I considered to be, the image of ‘perfect health’!  

If you have something you want to achieve – the best time to start is NOW there really is no better time!

If I hadn’t started and waited to be ‘perfect’ I would not be sitting here writing my 365th blog.  I would not have learnt everything I have learnt about raw food preparation and the nutritional benefits. I would not know how to prepare so many raw dishes, dehydrate food, sprout seeds, grow wheatgrass, make probiotics, raw cheeses and soooo much more. This knowledge is amazing and I am so looking forward to starting to write my book.

So what of all this adventure…
Does raw food make you more healthy?
Has anything in my life changed?

There  absolutely are health benefits from eating more fruit and vegetables in your diet.  It is widely recommended and proven that eating 5 serves of vegetables and 2 fruits everyday dramatically decreases your risk of diabetes and chronic illness’, such as heart disease.  According to the 2004-5 National Health Survey – 7 million people reported having a chronic illness (http://www.aihw.gov.au/chronic-diseases/) – that is 1/3 of the population!

More than anything else,  I recommend raw food recipes to everyone for one reason…

Knowing how to easily prepare delicious meals that are loaded with fruits and vegetables is an easy way to increase your vegetable and fruit intake and this alone will significantly contribute to reducing your risk of chronic illness.

My book is going to be based on this 1 concept.

Today in Australia, 50% of people eat less than 2 serves of fruit a day and 70% of people eat less than 5 serves of vegetables  a day (http://www.aihw.gov.au/risk-factors-low-fruit-and-vegetable-consumption/) and if I can write a simple recipe book that helps people to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce their risk of chronic illness then it has been worth my year of learning about raw food!

Other aspects of whether raw food makes you healthy… it is early days in terms of research… but probably the most important is the significance of eating raw fruit and vegetables for their phytochemicals which are mostly destroyed when food is cooked.  Early research does show that these phytochemicals play an important role in fighting cancer and cancer prevention.  An area I’d like to study more.

There are many other aspects of raw food that are beneficial to the body but I won’t rave on here.  At the end of the day it is not simple to live 100% raw and get all your nutrients as recommended by NHMRC (http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/n6 ) – it is certainly possible and I know people who do it – but for me as a mum of an 11 year old and a 13 year old – I can’t get my kids to eat 2 bunches of kale a day piled with sprouted lentils and an array of other colourful vegetables and I don’t have the time to prepare 2 lots of every single meal we eat.  It is not feasible for me – perhaps when the kids are grown up and it is only me to prepare food for I could do it but at the moment I don’t feel 100% is for me.  I am really happy with doing 70-80% raw consistently and getting the 5 vegetables and 2 fruits in – if not more.

Raw food can absolutely help you to be healthier but health is more than nutrition.

I guess more than anything – I had hoped to report in today that my skin is clear and I had lost weight from eating more raw.  I never went 100% raw for more than a couple of weeks.  I certainly felt an increase in energy throughout the entire year – but my weight never dropped, my skin did not clear and my blood pressure didn’t drop consistently – this could well be due to what raw foods I was eating (ie. too many nuts, seeds, dry fruits and not just fresh fruits and vegetables) and also that despite trying I could not quit the couple of wines each night.  Importantly though – Nutrition is only 1 aspect of health and other factors do contribute to your health.

Things that influence your health apart from nutrition are: the environment in which you live; the exercise you do; your spirituality; the relationships which you have; your ability to de-stress, your knowledge about health and your ability to live a life true to your own values. All these factors contribute to your health.

As the raw food journey finishes, a new journey begins… this journey is about incorporating balance across all aspects of life for complete mind, body and soul health.  To strive for balance in all aspects and most importantly enjoy the lessons along the way, embracing the challenges, letting go of frustrations when goals are not reached and looking instead for what can be learnt.  Aligning  activities with what is most important  and letting go of the things that don’t serve the journey.

 

I feel sad that a chapter has closed but I am excited that a new one has begun.

I have pulled out my vision board and I’ve started writing my priorities for each day, collating pictures and setting up my next focus… yoga… studying nutrition… studying food psychology… improving my reading speed… writing my book… meditation… and of course cooking…

Most of all though…

To be content and at peace on the journey and not focus only on achieving goals in order to be happy.

Love, light and health… Ally x

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