That's my healthy food growl.  We actually, its my "hey, I'm sick of feeling puffy, out of shape, and oh my gosh is that ME in the mirror!?" statement.  Its a funny thing that happens when you get married (or when you live in New Orleans...), you kind of let your nutrition go to the birds.  The food here is SOOO good (an understatement), so its hard not to pick up the phone and order something when you're exhausted from a long day & don't feel like cooking.  I hardly ever ate out growing up, so I consider New Orleans a treat - we're not going to live here forever, right?  So enjoy the food while you can!  Then that leads to also drinking, which also leads to sleeping in, being lazy and forgoing that whole working-out thing.  Bah, I played sports in college and I've worked out almost every day since I was a wee summer swim team-leaguer back in Virginia, I'm in great shape, so surely a few days not working out won't matter....

...a few days, that turn in to weeks, which turn into, well you get it.

It wasn't until I saw myself in the mirror the other day and almost screamed outloud "What the!? Is that cellulite!????"  Yeah, no good.  That plus I'd been feeling insanely sluggish, tired and just all-around BLAH.  It wasn't till my little mirror revelation that I examined my options:
  1. workout and still eat what I'm eating.  Gross in, gross out, but at least I'll be maintaining my weight
  2. clean my diet up, work out and kick in the butt once and for all those stupid last 20 lbs that I have never ever been able to get rid of.
  3. do nothing and just balloon, becoming the larger version of an oompa loompa
I choose option 2.  Yeah, in the middle of wrapping up my design projects (oh.ver.welm.ing) and planning a move to another continent, I'm going to squeeze cleaning up my diet into the mix.  Oye vey.

So this past weekend I had one of my best friends visit NOLA with her husband.  During her stay, she mentioned that she had been trying out a raw food diet for the past few weeks.  My friend has two kids, so if it takes too long to make or if it's too difficult, then its a no go recipe wise.  She explained how everything is in smoothie form or very simplified, so in a sense it's actually almost an easier diet than a western diet.  There's a whole science behind it (I'm sparing you the details) but essentially its a diet that cleanses and tries to balance the acidity and alkalinity in a body .  Now, I'm not one to go whole-hog raw, because I'm way to much of a carnivore.
collageOrama Cow Cuts of Beef Diagram on etsy
But what's nice about the raw diet is you can choose to go 50%, 75% or 100% raw. I'm placing my bets low and aiming for 50% - so I can still slip in my sauted chicken and grilled beef Filets into my diet.

So last night I planned my first raw meal:  Lettuce Wraps.

Strike one: WFM didnt have hemp seeds.  I subbed golden flax seeds.
Strike two: I love spinach, but its hard for me to eat it raw.  I also noticed there was no lettuce in the recipe (even though it's a recipe for Lettuce Wraps) So I swapped that part for Romaine Lettuce.
Strike three: do you know how hard it is to cut a mango?  Yeah...... I didn't either until last night

So long and short if it, here's my bounty:
A little bit of mango (finally figured out how to slice that one), some cabbage, some ginger, basil, cilantro and a carrot cut down into matchsticks.

Then you make your sauce, which i didn't snap a picture of, but its essentially lemon juice, ginger, red chili powder, almond butter and honey.  After blending that, it goes with shredded cabbage in a bowl
Then, you take your cabbage mix, put it on your lettuce leaf, then add mango, basil, cilantro, and sprinkle some flax seeds on top.  Then voila!
my lettuce wrap unwrapped
Result?  actually really yummy!  It was very very light, but after two wraps both Mr. Bama and I were comfortably full.  I usually find myself an hour after I eat back in the kitchen trying to find something else to eat, but not last night.  I think Mr. Bama retracted his statement of "yes, please make those again someday!" after he was stuck cleaning almond butter off of all the dishes, but otherwise, a lovely home run on day one of raw foods!  Next up, my new raw drink find.....

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