View Full Version : Are you a good Raw Girl Scout? ("Be Prepared")
02-28-2005, 05:13 AM
Another title for this thread: How do you plan/organize a week's worth of raw meals?
I'm working on changing a major personality flaw: lack of planning and organization. (In other words when I try to find something it's generally lost, wrinkled, in the laundry, unrepaired, forgotten in the car, left at someone's house, etc.)
In the food department, the organizational demands of eating raw have been a HUGE challenge for me (much more than the inner discipline aspect, which I usually have.) I'm in awe of people who know on Monday what they'll have for lunch on Thursday and start soaking, sprouting, blending, dehydrating, freezing right on schedule.
I'm always left without what I need and that breeds trouble because the quick, denser "grab-able" foods in my house tend to be cooked. (I still find it hard to grab a tangerine or apple to have with my tea at night, for instance.) I start a new job tomorrow after many years of working for myself from home...so now I have to bring a raw lunch daily and then come at 6pm and start figuring out what to eat while everyone else is sitting down to their cooked meal. Help!
My style of non-vegetarian, un-raw cooking was always to open the fridge at 5pm and say "Hmm, let's see what's in here...What can I do with this?" Not very efficient but in some weird way it felt like a challenge...As in: Frozen chicken, a can of black beans, a grapefruit and spinach..GO! Like Iron Chef!
But that works much less well for vegetarian cooked meals and much much much less well for raw. I think that's part of the reason I really LOVED the Master Cleanse fasting: no anxiety about preparedness and organization. But I can't live life this way. I've got to CHANGE!!!
Sorry to ramble...I'm just coming to grips with how large an issue this has been in my life. And mind you I'm not a teenager...I'm an almost-40 year old with a son, stepson, mortgage, career, etc! My ability to creatively "wing it" and pull things off has been my compensation for being chronically unprepared. (And thank goodness I'm not unprepared in my work life, just my personal stuff.)
But I feel like a big failure in this area.
It's VERY frustrating and it's time I acquire the planning/organizing skills I need to succeed in the diet and exercise arenas.
I know some seem to have that planning gene or maybe had super-organized mothers to learn from. I wasn't blessed with either it seems. So I'd love you all to teach me how and what you do to be prepared/organized/ready.
I never was a Girl Scout...can't you tell? Thanks in advance. xoxox M.
02-28-2005, 07:14 AM
Melissa, Hi !! I was a Girl Scout and I had a super organized Mom growing up. Am I always prepared to eat raw? Not always, but I do try. I am a mom of three and I work full time. For me, I always blend up a smoothie for breakfast and take it with me to sip in the car and at my desk. (I am a teacher, so I don't get much desk time)!!! That holds me until lunch. I usually keep several organic bag salads and my favorite dressing at work in the fridge and have that for lunch. I pack bean sprouts, sunflower seeds, or oranges to mix in. I also drink lots of water during the day and sometimes mix in green powder. ( my students say eeewww, but are used to seeing me eat this way! Ha!) At the end of the day, I try to eat a piece of fruit or some nuts on the way home so that I am not starving when I walk in the door and have to deal with all of the non-raw food in my house. And this is where the challenge begins for me, I have not organized myself for dinners yet. I cook for my family, so the best trick so far is that I feed ME first--avacado and tomatoes usually--or veggies wrapped up in romaine. (I don't have a raw cook book yet). Melissa, just one day at a time, and before you know it a routine will set in. You have it in you!!
02-28-2005, 08:13 AM
think you are being way too hard on yourself. yes, maybe you could get a little more organized. maybe you should. but i dare say, MAYBE YOU SHOULDNT!!
i dont think your lack of week-long meal planning is a FAILURE. to be honest, i dont plan my meals out for the week, nor do i want to. there really is something FUN about standing in front of the fridge, grabbing whatever sounds tasty and pretending like i am the Iron Chef!!
before i go to the grocery store, i do take a minute to look through my recicpes and pick some things that sound good so i have the ingredients in the house, but half the time i end up making something totally different.
i can only plan out a couple of days at a time, at the most. what happens to the people that have planned out fridays lunch on sunday, only to have friday not sound good when it is time? eat your enchilada anyway, when what you really have a craving for is a smoothie???
i would much rather chop or uncook a little extra so i can have leftovers the next day, then worry about the next meal when its time.
as you can tell, i try to take a much more laid back approach. i do realize that some really need a schedule and need to plan things out in advance, but i would too restricted.
think about when people travel. some people make an itenerary. down to the hour. there is NO WAY i could have a good time on vacation if i were having to follow an itinerary. its just not my style.
some of us are planners...some of us are not. its not good or bad, IT JUST IS.
Heather, The Freestyle Chef :D
02-28-2005, 11:16 AM
I'm sort-of a planner. Basically, I always have a few different types of raw nuts, dates or raisins, three to four different fruits and three to four different veggies. I know I can do a lot then. I can have a variety of smoothies, salads, anything that I can think of. Then I look through my raw file of recipies and find one or two dishes that can be made with what I have. And I don't mind improvising.
You don't have to be a planner. Just buy what you really like and then you can be a bit spontaenous.
By the way, I was never a girlscout!
02-28-2005, 06:53 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts. I read over my original post and, yikes, it does sound a bit hard on myself, I agree. I appreciate you all pointing that out to me. I tend to be an unrealistic perfectionistic/critic when it comes to myself.
The undisclosed "back story" behind that post is a "feeling sorry for myself" momentary lapse last night...I fell right into the arms of three biscotti with my tea while watching t.v. Why? I would have chosen the raw dessert if I had something made in advance. That's what got me feeling like such an organizational failure. That, plus some nerves about starting a new job tomorrow and worrying about managing raw food prep on my new schedule.
I've been mostly 100% raw and faithful since late October so I really hate slipping up like that. But I'm coming to accept the occasional slip as part of the learning curve of going raw for life. Heather, your post reminded me that I'll always have that spontaneous spirit and to embrace that rather than judge it. Thank you!
Now, if you ladies (or anyone out there) do have some helpful hints for kitchen/food management, menu planning, packing lunches, etc. I would still love the advice! Thanks again. Melissa
02-28-2005, 07:27 PM
Here's my advice for kitchen management and preparation:
Buy your fruits and veggies and wash, chop and cute and put everything in baggies and store in the fridge. Then you're ready to eat or prepare for a meal without the prep work. Make a raw dessert before you're wanting it. Then it's ready when you have that craving.
I do this with both raw and non-raw meal planning.
02-28-2005, 09:27 PM
I wouldn't wash the veggies and fruit first, makes them rot faster. I do use the Evert green bags on all my produce though because it makes them last longer. Also, mushrooms should be taken out of plastic container and put in brown lunch bag. Just a tip I saw on tv the other day!
Melissa: I have the same problem with planning and if I DON'T plan I fail. I have no tips in this area other than look at what recipes you want for the week and make extra. Like I plan to make a ton of the corn tortillas and freeze them cuz I love 'em! I don't know what else you could do like that, but I guess just to keep sunflower seeds soaking in purified water in fridge is good, I do that, changing the water occassionally, making flaxseed or other crackers for the week, maybe making nut butters ahead of time. Most of the recipes I try I don't like, so making the ones I do, and lots, seems to help.
02-28-2005, 11:20 PM
this might help, or at least I hope so.
I make meatload and make it into patties, then dehydrate them, then freeze tehm in baggies. When I want one or two, I add a touch of water to the baggie, toss it in the dehydrator, and start making a greens and tomatoe salad, if I want a taco salad, I dash on mexican seasonings, and use some hot salsa that I have made up, and add some cashew sour cream.
If I want a spaghetti type dinner, I add some marinar sauce that I have frozeden in ice cube trays, then pop them out into a baggie, take one marinara cube, and place it next to the burger pattie, and I have a spaghetti and meat sauce, then I spiralize some zucchini for noodles. yummy,
If I want a bar-b-que beef sandwich, I take the burgery patty, add a touch of bar-b-que sauce, I also freeze this in the ice cubes, then do the same thing. Warm it up in the dehydrator.
I also make the pecan carot burgers and freeze them, and I make flax seed crackers, and freeze them, so I have crackers, in baggies.
I make the chicken fingers, and the falafel and freeze them, and also the pizza wraps.
The pizza wraps with falafel in them, and some lettuce and tomatoe and some onion cut up, and some tahini makes a great sandwhich.
Any of these things can be made in a minute by dehydrating to warm the frozen part, chopping up some lettuce and tomatoe and eating it.
If you want to take this to lunch, just take out of the frige, and when you want to eat it, it will be thawed, and then add together all the ingredients.
I don't put them together before, because they can get soggy.
You could also cut make a large fruit salad, and put it in the frige in single servings, and just take them to lunch.
Or you could make little salads allready to go.
Tupperware makes all sizes of containers, and perfect pouring ones for dressings and baby ones for dressings.
As long as you make a large batch of stuff, and freeze it, you will have plenty of things to choose lunch and dinner from.
I wish you well, you have already done so well for so long.
03-03-2005, 10:48 AM
i just reread my post and am a little uneasy about how it may have come across. i just wanted you to know that it is OK to not be so organized and to embrace your spontaniety. but more importantly, you were needing advice about how to get a handle on your food preparation for your work/family situation and i did not address it at all. i am sorry if i came across snippy - i certainly did not mean to.
p.s. i LOVE rawpriestess's ideas about freezing in icecube trays.
03-03-2005, 11:03 AM
heather i read your post and did'nt think there was anything snippy about it at all :) no worries
as for me i tend to read recipies and then i want to make everything all at once ... hard to decide what i'm hungry for i guess. but then in the end i tend to stick to easy things that can be whipped up in just a few min. braggs on any veggies is a big hit for me. as of yet i have not really gotten into the whole dehydrating thing yet (my old one heats to like 200 degree's) :eek: found a pretty good pesto recipie that would travel well if you have some tomato slices or maybe some cucumbers.. this prob is'nt a whole lot of help but like heather said i think that flying by the seat of your pants could be a part of your charm lol cheers coffeesquirrel also if your new job is near a groc store that might help if you don't have some of your ingred in the morning .
03-03-2005, 11:05 AM
When I read Melissa's thread I thought, wow! this sounds like me!
A lot of my cooked cheats come from being unorganized or unprepared.
I always prepare my families dinner 1st; big mistake. I will definately eat
my food 1st. Great ideas Raw Priestess! Taking notes! I start a job
next week. This really helps!
03-03-2005, 11:40 AM
I like sweets, so I make sure I ALWAYS have a dessert on hand. This is what saves me when I get hit with a craving for sweets, and they are usually pretty easy to whip up.
I've discovered the last few months that having a well-stocked pantry makes life easier. When I decide on a recipe, I know I've got most of the ingredients already...
03-03-2005, 08:22 PM
First of all, Heather, your post was FINE, delightful, helpful, so don't worry. In fact, I've been thinking about your point all week (My brain: "Yeah, what's WRONG with the way I am? I'm kind of fun this way! ;-) So thanks!
I had a funny organizational/communication mishap today. Following, rawpriestess's great advice on freezing: I called my partner Anne from work to say "Take the frozen pesto mushrooms from the freezer so they'll be ready for my dinner" but I neglected to say "Put them INTO the dehydrator" ! Somehow I thought that part was understood (how? marital ESP?) So I came home to still-cold mushrooms and had nothing much else to eat...so, horror of horrors, I microwaved a big plate of them for a minute or two to warm them up. So, a big zero in the raw department but I stayed vegan, didn't eat the ravioli dinner with everyone else, and I learned a good lesson.
Hope you guys are all doing well! xoxo M.
P.S. Becky/Greengirl, what are your favorite desserts? I'm trying to find a few that I really like, besides my "butter pecan ice cream" one.
03-03-2005, 09:57 PM
Hi Melissa - I know just what you mean about people who seem to have it all together. Flylady.com calls them BOs (Born Organized), and my mother is like that. I've had to devise routines (and stick to them daily) in order to achieve some freedom from my perfectionist/sidetracked state of being. With food, though, I like RawPriestess' plan, but, I personally can't do that; I'm really wanting to simplify/purify my raw eating and, so, I'm actively transitioning away from those types of foods that are sort of imitation cooked foods. I like very much that Victoria Boutenko (and others) say that when we're 100% for enough time, we naturally begin eating much less ... and are freed from the tyranny (strong word, I know -- it's mine and reflects how I'm feeling about this right now) of eating at certain times or in certain situations. I do know what you mean about the night-time pairing. I've tried to avoid watching TV at night. When I do, though, I immediately want to eat -- this is a very strong learned behavior, for some reason. TV = eating. So, when I do, I make sure that I have something (always dessert at night!) even though I'm not hungry. Same with drinking a hot beverage. Tea = crunchy/sweet snack.
Anyway, despite the fact I've said I want to get away from the "transitional" foods, here's what I do: Dehydrate the breads and crackers on the weekend ... or when needed ... filling my Excalibur so I have tons to put in a plastic bag to store (crisp) or in fridge (soft). I decide a few things I'm going to have for the week and buy the ingredients ahead of time. Then I make the chili, which is a big recipe and lasts for 3 meals. Or the marinara sauce x 2 so I have enough for a few spiralized zucchini pasta meals. I make salad dressings ahead of time and store in glass bottles. I always have ripe bananas in the freezer for morning smoothies and on the counter for snacking. You get the idea.
This does take setting aside 1/2 hr. to do the planning. That's where my routine comes in. This may sound like a robot's schedule, but, believe me, after a number of years, my "free spirit" rationale just got worn down (exposed!) by my continual disorganization. Keeping to these routines has truly meant freedom for me. But, it's been babysteps. And, once I wrote on my calendar that Friday night (for example) at 8 p.m. is my "date" with myself for menu planning, I actually kept that appt with myself (because I had no doubt that I'd succeed at eating raw and knew this is what it'd take). Have I been perfect at this? Absolutely not! First, because neither I nor any other human is perfect (duh). And, also, because it's natural to fall down sometimes. Then I have to forgive myself and just get right back up and go back to the routine. All is not disaster even though the tendency is to slide way down. It's just a stumble. So ... in that 1/2 hr., I decide which recipes I'm going to make, write them down, decide on my breakfast strategies (smoothies, whole fruit out of hand, raw muesli) and lunch plans (alternating days of salads loaded w/chopped veggies and avo/tomato/lettuce between crackers), write down the ingredients I have to get for all meals making sure to include dessert (usually fudge balls since they're so simple, so yummy, and last for such a long time), and write in on the calendar when I'm doing the shopping and when I'm "cooking" the stuff up. I don't do them all on the weekend -- I'll do, say, chili on Sunday, then marinara on Tuesday, etc.
This is waaaay long and, now that I look it over, it seems to just repeat what others have said ... and not very well written, at that. Aaargh! Oh well, too much time invested in it now, so you're gettin' it!!
Hope the first week is going well.
Oh -- an idea to replace those biscotti -- if you make the flax recipe that's sweet (I think it has cinnamon), then do the almond butter, honey, banana on top. Oh man! That'd be so great with tea!
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