Week of Raw: Day 0 – Plan of Attack, Blue & Bei’s Salad

Friends, forgive me in advance for what I’m sure will have to be a muddled, rambling, haze of a post. I haven’t had any coffee. In fact, I’m not planning on having any today or for the next 6 days; Amy and I are embarking on a week-long raw diet!

When most people think raw, it’s probably something like this:

This is a simple and delicious salad we picked up from our friends in Austin, Blue and Bei, last week (recipe below). We actually made it for a non-raw dinner with friends Abigail and Steven, but they had to cancel at the last minute, so we decided to start our week of raw a little early (note: this had toasted almonds, so it wasn’t totally raw).

But why would we do such a thing, you might ask? (My coffee-deprived brain is asking too.) For many people, there’s something mysterious and compelling about “going raw”. You imagine yourself with boundless energy, free from all of your vices, accomplishing all of those tasks, great and small, that you’ve been putting off. You conceive of some Hulk-like potential that all humans have. You envision a human body, like a shell, filled with gunk that must be cleaned out.

Often, you feel this most acutely when hung over. Especially after the holidays.

I think for us that curiosity is a large part the raw mystique. I drink a lot of coffee. And a lot of whiskey. Because these things mediate how I act, how I think, and how I experience the world, I begin to wonder what my normal state is like. Will it be easier to sleep at night if I don’t drink coffee? Will I be more prone to wake up earlier if I don’t have those beers?

While we certainly don’t have any long-term plans to cut these things out of our diet, the curiosity about our “base state” is sufficiently compelling to warrant a little experiment (and hopefully prompt a little positive change). A day isn’t enough. Even a few days. Your body needs to recalibrate.

So, it stands to reason, the same line of thinking might apply to what we’re eating. Though we generally eat pretty healthily, we have dabbled in raw meals now and again and been pretty impressed with how great we felt. But as people who love to cook, preparing raw meals has been a challenge to our creativity. We have a raw night here and there, but never seem to fully pierce through the veil separating us from raw food culinary prowess. So, I reasoned recently, what we need is to force it a bit–to spend a full week eating raw, to actually peer–however briefly–into the raw lifestyle, not just a meal.

So, for the next week, we’ll be eating raw and posting–hopefully daily–about our adventures. We’ll post recipes, of course, but also how we’re feeling and what we’re missing most.

Fret not, dear readers! We will return to our wily cooking ways, to be sure, but hopefully with a lot more raw dishes mixed in.

Oh, and here’s Blue and Bei’s salad, in case you were wondering:

  • Lettuce, torn into medium-sized pieces
  • avocado, cubed
  • cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • almonds, toasted briefly in sesame oil and a splash of soy sauce/tamari/shoyu/Bragg’s
  • red onion, cut into thin slices, then in half (to make long strips)


  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 – 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/shoyu/Bragg’s (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

The amounts are all relative to the amount of salad you want. We used up a whole head of lettuce, a full avocado, about a quarter of an onion, and a large handful of cherry tomatoes. This would be great for big salads for 4 people, or a meal for 2 people on a raw diet 😉


#1 Courtney on 03.15.11 at 7:29 pm

Can’t wait to read about your raw week–good luck!


#2 FoodFeud on 03.15.11 at 10:56 pm

For Lent, I’ve given up alcohol (oy!) and am eating raw Mondays but you make a good point that the body needs to recalibrate and one day isn’t really enough. Hope the rest of your week is as delicious as this. Maybe I’ll get some inspiration for my meals.

#3 Mihl on 03.16.11 at 7:06 am

Good luck! Can’t wait so see the recipes you come up with.

#4 Jesse on 03.16.11 at 12:32 pm

I really like this post – and found it insightful to think that caffeine and alcohol affect my reality, and how I think and act in the world. I’ve never body cleansed before, but your philosophy makes sense! And the salad looks great too. 🙂


#5 mark on 03.16.11 at 2:38 pm

Thanks for the encouragement all!

FoodFeud: Good luck to you as well. No alcohol for a whole month is brutal. What’s interesting to me is how quickly many of our normal social activities become less desirable. And I’m only thinking about a week. I’ll be curious to see what you make of a whole month.

Jesse: Thanks–I’ve never cleansed before either (not that this is a proper cleanse), so this is new to me too. I occasionally swear off drinking for (brief) periods, but can’t think of the last time I didn’t do coffee. And we’ve done raw meals, but never over an extended period–never enough to really feel the effects, which is what we’re going for. Day 2 definitely feels better than day 1 😉

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