Raw Pad Thai

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, sugar-free, ACD friendly, raw

Every once in a while, I feel like my interest in nutrition shackles me more than it liberates me.  Only sometimes.  Most of the time, I take pride in my passion for all-food-related things.  I laugh when other people cast their pitying stares along with a mournful, “Wait… doesn’t bread have gluten?”  Why does such a question incite laughter?  Because I do not see my diet as “restrictive” in any way whatsoever.  I never tell myself that I am not “allowed” to eat something.  Rather, I choose – very selectively – what I eat.  Having the choice is what is so liberating.  And I just happened to be pretty darned discerning, which empowers my choice all the more.

So why the occasional stress?  It is not what I end up choosing or not choosing to eat that makes me feel icky.  It’s the stress over listening to my own voice vs. every other voice in the foodie community, alternative healthcare sphere, and American culture that is claiming to know what is right for my body.  I am so terrible at distinguishing the one from the other, that I often take others’ opinions to not only be my own, but to be fact.  So I guess the real problem lies in the unfortunate issue that I’m a stellar listener with a brain wired like Pollyanna’s.  A strange case of two positives equaling a negative.  I have a way of finding reason in nearly every philosophy, every belief system.  I am awed by people’s stories about their own roads to health, following specific diet x and specific lifestyle y.  I’m open.  A little too open.  A bit close-your-mouth-unless-you’re-catching-flies open.  And please do not misunderstand me, an open mouth is good for some things: CPR, standing up for oneself, making out, being Susan Boyle, etc.  Catching flies?  Gone too far.  Unless you are a frog.

There are too many theories out there.  Too many people standing on soapboxes, claiming they’ve found The Answer.  And they all sound like they know what they’re talking about.  They’ve all experienced improvement in their lives firsthand.  So what do I do?  It’s hard for me not to listen.  Comparing my experiences with those of others makes me feel connected.  I find joy in learning.  But this latest lesson has been just as full of misery as it has been joy.  What is my Answer?  To be able to listen to thousands of opinions and philosophies, effortlessly identify the bits and pieces that intuitively resonate with me, and meld together those fragments until they stand independently as my own philosophy by which I, alone, live.  There it is.  The lesson I am finding most difficult to master.

I’ve recently discovered the colorful world of raw food and raw cooking.  Living in California now, the opportunities to eat at raw restaurants find their way into one’s path often.  Scott and I have fallen in love with raw food.  We’ve been incorporating more of it into our diets, though neither one of us has ever felt going 100% raw would be right for us personally.  We like balance.  We are similar in our tendencies to take something we love to an extreme, so we’ve been making a conscious effort to check that.  However, eating more raw food has caused my already high fat (low carb/no sugar) anti-candida diet to become even higher fat.  I have been ardently attached to my healthy fats.  Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut in every possible form – I can’t seem to get enough!  And considering my dietary limits, I would venture to say that most of the calories I get in a day comes from fat, simply because an entire pound of vegetables amounts to about 10 calories.  Okay, maybe more, but you get my point.  However, yesterday I made the mistake of reading online about raw diets and whether or not they are “healthy” to maintain.  There are two camps in the raw foodie community: high fat/low carb and high fruit/low fat.  The majority seems to fall into the high fruit/low fat boat, and these fruitarians claim that high fat diets are not only ultimately destructive, but that human beings are meant to eat only fruits and vegetables, excluding all fats whatsoever!  Some even went so far to say that high fat diets feed candida.

The more I read, the worse I felt.  Not before long, I felt that everything I’ve been doing for the past few months has been counter-productive.  The internet is dangerous.  Not every single person on this planet has an internet presence.  There are more opinions out there.  An internet majority does not represent the world’s true majority.  It is my hope there are other people like me who have lived and are living healthy, balanced lives while really lovin’ on good fats.  American society is already afraid enough of fat as it is.  It’s time to start dispelling myths, and supporting each other in finding what works for each of our individual, snowflake-like systems (no two are alike, yo!).

So rather than stand on my own soapbox, I’d rather hear from YOU.  Do you ever struggle to find your own intuition’s voice?  How do you actively create your own lifestyle and diet philosophy?

Raw Pad Thai

Preface: I am obsessed with this dish.  

2 packages (12 oz each) kelp noodles

1 med/large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

handful fresh basil

the sauce:

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup cashew butter (or peanut if you have no issues with candida!)

3/4 cup filtered water

4 small cloves garlic

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 1/2 tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground cayenne

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

OPT: Garnish with mung bean sprouts and peanuts/cashews!

1) Rinse and then soak the kelp noodles in filtered water, juice of 1 small lime, and liberal sprinkling of salt for 6-8 hrs. 

2) Place all ingredients for the sauce in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth.

3) Rinse kelp noodles again in colander.  Mix in sliced peppers, scallions, and basil.

4) Pour sauce over noodles and mix so all noodles are well coated.

5) Allow to marinate on the counter top for a couple hours.

6) You COULD eat the noodles now if you wanted to, but the kelp might still have a slight crunch.  Personally, I like to place the complete dish covered in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to truly intensify overnight.  This also allows the noodles to soften even more.

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9 Comments

Filed under Plates

9 responses to “Raw Pad Thai

  1. I hear you on the stress – but here’s to enjoying delicious dishes more! :)

  2. Desi, this dish looks great! Wonderful photos, dear. :-)

    Don’t we all have those misgivings? I can’t buy into the all or nothing type thinking. We are all so different. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what our bodies are telling us when there are so many other voices “shouting” at us. Many of us go down one path all the way feeling that it’s not right, but we doubt ourselves. Trust your gut. Are you getting better? Are you feeling stronger? Does “THE way” of eating make you feel weak and tired? Then it’s not for you. If you’re told that item x is the healthiest and everyone must eat it, but you just don’t feel right when you eat it, then listen. You’ll find your way, dear. I’m still finding mine. I think it’s something we’re always working on a bit.

    xo,
    Shirley

    • Shirley, you are so right. I think it is something we are constantly tweaking, especially since we do not stay the same. We are always growing and changing. I think the key is having the patience to really listen to ourselves and be open and willing enough to change accordingly. I love that you say we all have those misgivings. I think that’s why this post poured out of me – it’s nice to be reassured sometimes that we are all in the same boat! :)
      xoxo
      Desi

  3. I’m with Shirley on this one. I am open to trying all sorts of things. (I’m trying raw right now.) But, I think there’s no one “right” answer. We have to listen to our bodies and figure out what works for us. One thing I’ve found as that I’ve gotten healthier, I’m more sensitive to the things that don’t work as well for me. When I was eating dairy and gluten I couldn’t tell if something was affecting me negatively, as I was always low grade “sick” even though I didn’t know it. Getting “well” by quitting those two things made a massive difference. But, honestly, this is my new “normal” and I’m still not sure if there’s an even better “well” that I still can’t envision because I’ve never experienced it.

    Live and learn, right? I know I’m still learning. :)

    Oh, and I LOVE all the healthy fats. But, part of my going raw was that I am pretty sure peanuts and I aren’t getting along as well as I would like. So sad. Thankfully, almond and cashew and walnut butter are there to step up.

    • Deanna! Love, love, love everything you said. And I am with you regarding gluten and dairy – it wasn’t until I gave them up and suddenly felt strangely better that I realized the way I felt before wasn’t actually that good! I figured the way I felt before was just normal.

      Too bad about your relationship with peanuts… and yet, maybe if you didn’t learn this, you wouldn’t have discovered the wonders of all the other nut butters! That’s what happened to me, at least. I haven’t been able to eat peanuts since before March (since going ACD), but it’s given me the opportunity to turn to pecan, pepita, cashew, coconut, walnut butter… YUM.
      xo
      Desi

  4. Ken

    Haven’t had a chance to try this one, but we had one of your desert recipes prepared by one of our favorite cooks, Adel. Next time I’ll say please ma’am may I have some more!!

    • Ha!! I’m so curious what Adele fed you! I’m glad you liked it though! So nice to hear from you, Ken! Give Brenda a huge hug for me, please :)

  5. Casey

    I realize I am extremely late to responding to this but I simply must. I’ve only just found your blog a few minutes ago and this post caught my eye. I struggle with being far too open as well- people say something is “wrong” or “unhealthy” and suddenly I feel overwhelming guilt. Unfortunately, I took this feeling to an extreme last year and ended up in ill-health and extremely underweight. I went through an eating disorder recovery program to regain the weight, but I struggle quite a lot with the SAD. I like eating healthfully, but balance is absolutely key. Thank you for sharing your thoughts- its unbelievably helpful for me to be able to relate to confusion about what to eat to someone as healthy as yourself (and please also take note of my story so you DON’T go to extremes). I find the easiest way for me to eat what I need is not to listen to anyone- as a food blogger I realize this is easier said than done, but now, thats my rule. (obviously didn’t follow tonight) Unless I’m printing a specific recipe I need to stay away from health/food blogs and stick to things which I obsess about less. I would encourage you to do the same- perhaps look at the recipes but skip the banter about what’s good, what’s not, and why. It’s a personal story, bottom line.

    • Hi Casey! Thanks so much for your comment and words of wisdom! Luckily, my type A attitude towards everything (including diet) has never reached unhealthy proportions – and I plan on keeping it that way. I just find it annoying how so many people seem to trumpet THEIR way as THE way. For me, it comes to just sticking to what I believe is right for me, without feeling like I need to explain it to anyone! I LOVE reading health/food blogs – the blogging community brings me SO much joy. It’s most important that I simply remember that my own voice matters, too! :)

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