Archive for November, 2009

Curious Questions

1. how to order smart while going out with friends or family to a restaurant (ie: chinese food, bbq resto, japanese resto, shabu2 resto, indo resto, korean resto) Coz mostly I work, I go out and I would eat out. I don’t know if my Lifestyle is suitable for the rawdiet. Any thoughts?


3. How to come up with more recipes so the rawfood menu doesn’t get boring? As u know, I work from 9-5 and its difficult for me to prepare my own food. From ur stories, I presume that u become ur own chef and came up with fantastic recipes. But how can I do it? Coz usually my maid already prepared my lunch box.

The most on-the-go or busiest lifestyles I find are actually the most suitable candidates to getting started raw. Sure there are lots of fancy dishes to make and at first sight, it seems like they are the only way to enjoy them; but these are raw ‘cook’ books we’re talking about that present such recipes. They’re not going to sell their books by telling you to just eat an orange. What most people are forgetting is the fact that whole fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed so effortlessly. A whole banana fuels me up better than a food coma-inducing full plate of bacon, eggs, and beans.

If you had to eat out and want to save your digestion, opt for a salad (that consists of mostly greens, not crisps and cheesy dressings). A vegetarian meal would be my second option. My choice always revolves around the digestive systems, in efforts to alleviate its job as much as possible. The lighter its job, the lighter I’d feel post-meal. Raw gets digested the quickest, followed by cooked vegetarian foods, and finally meats and others that do not belong like.. heavily.. deeply.. fried stuff.

Creating your own recipes will be tricky when you’re not familiar with the diet. Just the same way you would be in learning a new cuisine, regional cuisines work with different techniques and ingredients that require almost always new terms of learning. If you want to learn more, I suggest buying yourself a book and get familiarised. Otherwise, start fueling simple with whole fruits and salads. Play around with seasonings too. Toss some greens together with cut up fruits and dress with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (whichever, lemon/lime juice does the same job), honey, sea salt and pepper, for example..


2. Do u still drink coffee? Eat icecream, yogurt, fancy drinks, etc? Coz I’m a coffee and yogurt lover. I’m curious.


4. Do u eat potatoes? Or what about veggies that need to be cooked first to serve? (Ie: potato, yam, bittergourd, eggplant, etc)

I stopped drinking coffee for a while. Only because my body cleansed at one point and made me all jittery over one serving of coffee. My taste to coffee averted. Though, I had started to drink coffee regularly again recently.

I make delicious raw ice creams.

I am very much fond to frozen yogurts. Where ever I can however, I would try to source for a place where they make fresh frozen yogurts from REAL yogurts. Most of the big, corporate froyo big boys use instant yogurt powders that they mix with water, poured into an soft-serve ice machine, which is fine (just not a preference). Yogurts contain friendly bacteria that are good for you. They are not technically raw nor vegan, and if you’re lactose intolerant it will serve you some problems but, if you can handle eating them, they’re not poisonous.

I rarely eat the vegetables you mentioned. Most of my green intakes come in powder forms I whizz into a smoothie with a banana. Chlorella and Spirulina are my top two superfoods. The darkest green, the richest source of amino acids (building blocks of protein) superfoods.


5. Do u get bored with the rawfoodselection? Is it really fulfilling? Coz usually I need to need carbs (ie: rice, noodles, bread) to feel full. Also most of the nuts that I see in grocery stores are salted. Is this okay, or u munch nuts raw and unsalted?

At first impression, the variety of raw foods dishes may seem limited, but again this is just unfamiliarity. After learning more about the diet, the creativity in creating raw dishes really goes a far way, and they are more fulfilling in a way that they are satiating at much smaller portion, this is my personal opinion. I find refined starch such as white rice and white bread are less satiating (one bite leads to a crave for the next) than unrefined whole grains such as brown and wild rice, and whole grain bread. I ballpark my theory on “the more processed or refined it is, the less satisfying.”

Salted nuts found in grocery stores have been roasted (cooked). Having said that, raw nuts are coated with what is called ‘enzyme inhibitors’; enzyme inhibitors are the dormant keepers of nuts and seeds in preventing them from sprouting into life before they are placed in the right environment of soil and moisture. Consuming them require a tremendous amount of digestive enzymes, causing an increase workload in the pancreas. In raw food preparations, all nuts have been soaked to remove all inhibitor coatings, and then seasoned and air dried in a dehydrator. The end result is similar in texture to roasted nuts. It is difficult to home-make in some parts of the world for dehydrators are not yet commercially available. So in essence, it is better to eat roasted nuts than raw.


6. I want to try to eat raw, but how can I do it? What shud be my first step? I’m afraid I’ll get bored with the taste after the 3rd day. Yikes. Will I feel the difference of boost of energy if I eat raw every other day?

Read my first week experience post. After that week, it was no longer taste that drove me into the commitment in staying raw although taste do not need to be sacrificed. It’s not all nasty green stuff that most people think. They’re all astoundingly yummy, especially the guiltless desserts..

Get a raw food book. Or wait for my book. Ha!


7. From ur stories of foodculinary, u ate enchiladas (are they raw? I thought they’re cooked), tiramisu, etc etc. Is it because u crave for them? Or u’re actually allowing urself to indulge in normal food once in a while.

They are all raw, only that they have been named after cooked dishes for familiarity of food forms. In answering your second part of the question, I still indulge in whatever I want to eat. 23 years of cooked diet is a long time to reverse and I still get cravings every now and again. There is never a restraint in my choice of food. I’m VERY raw, and I found my point of balance between raw and cooked.


8. I want to be toned. Not rail thin. Is bikram yoga the only solution? Or I can do it another way? Coz usually when I hit the gym, I participate in the classes (cycling, bodypump, bodycombat) but № significant result yet. Boo-hoo.

There’s never one solution. There are plenty of ways in getting around being fit. Just incorporate cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises. The key is consistency to results. Don’t do them on and off, find something you can be comfortable in doing over a long period of time.


9. I’m very much a food lover…I don’t know if I can do this. But it seems that u can manage urself so well. What’s ur secret in curbing ur appetite and crave for normal food? Coz I always give in when I see sumthing I like.

This is the idea of perfection that everyone needs to overcome. A lot of people are taking this way too seriously as if it’s a religion or something like it. Everyone can benefit from every little helping of raw foods when incorporated into their diets. 10% is better than 0%. Get that idea off your head or you’ll go insane.



House of Hope

I requested a friend under a self-assigned pressure a few weeks back if I could drop a visit to House of Hope (an english name it goes by) to give an introductory presentation and a raw food demo. House of Hope is an orphanage situated about 40 minutes outside Jakarta that had been financially funded and in side, run by his (the friend) family. It was a compulsive act, but I was determined to bring myself out of the comfort bubble and start tallying up my public appearances so without over thinking, I picked up the phone and dialed.. no.. I blackberry messenger’ed him sorry, and allot the commitment.

I chose House of Hope because, I have always had dwelled on a ‘problem’ of the expansion of raw food awareness. I drew an inkling of notion that it had been a movement of.. or targeted to those who are able to financially afford the lifestyle and learning of its knowledge, not so much for the under privileged; or at least, one is still yet to be spurred by the thought of actually bringing the introduction into fruition within that sector of audience.

Raw food had gained its followers from the healing of terminal illnesses, reaped benefits of boundless energy, mental clarity, and proven overall health and well-being. Yet, the efforts to raise its awareness I find, often end on the road block of published raw ‘uncook’ books and pay-in courses. What happens to those who are not lavished with such accessibility? Hospital after hospital, medical research after research in quest for a cure that had already existed in the fringe of knowledge but kept isolated like a secret unless someone stumbles upon it by a pull of luck and be able to further the feed of their new interest by paying up for the new hobby. Sure, I admit that the movement is fighting back a lot of skepticism in its concept being as a lifestyle, let alone planting faith in its concept of healing to be recognized. I speculate it is because it has been perceived as no more than just a diet, weight loss tool, or other skin-deep motives. For some people it’s a tough shell to crack. I’m still battling a number of people in my life who now call me anorexic, and ridicule my choice of eating. In fact, I was just celebrated last week for allowing myself to eat a plate of baby back ribs and one girl was particularly ecstatic for I finally eat something ‘normal’ to her definition. In truth, I still eat whatever I want. It is only that most of the time I want raw, and at that time around I wanted the ribs. There is never a restraint.

I accept the fact that it is an idea that will to take some time to sink in. It’s only natural in the sea of modern dieted bodies, so I will not linger on this subject for too long. I just hope I can lead by being a by-product example because words can only get so far until one experiences the claims to self-prove.

Going back to House of Hope. It was the first time after 11 long years of not speaking the Indonesian language, I had to make the 1800 switch back to deliver my introduction to 46 kids. All worries aside, the day ended much more successful than I had anticipated. I carefully fabricated a recipe so simple it could not possibly have left any room for mistakes: a batch of dessert truffles made out of apples, dates, and shredded coconut coating. I sampled one and left the rest in their hands. Job done.

More photos here.


Sorry, I have been MIA


I’ve been MIA for the past couple of weeks, I know. What I have humbly learned so far in the book writing experience is that.. COMPOSING A BOOK IS A LOT HARDER THAN I THOUGHT. Everything jumbled all over the place. I wrote in several writing styles, indecisive. Ideas came back and forth, in, then out, then in again, and it’s out. I had gone off topics quite plenty too. I would get carried away emotionally and suddenly find traces of hostility in the paragraphs. They will be edited out, don’t worry.  It had been a very confusing one week and a half up until a few days ago, a friend suggested mind mapping it all out and just go crazy with bubbles of ideas. I reopened the mind mapping software I had installed on my computer, double clicked floating boxes, typing words in, and voila. It’s a now a neat and organized web of thoughts. Still a first draft but it’s finally getting somewhere.