Monday Monthly Mission # 20 (wow 20!)

May 2nd, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.


Ahhh, spring! The wet weather eases up, the prettiest pink flower buds begin to appear in the tree tops, and all the animals – humans included! – stretch their legs and yawn and rub their eyes as they re-emerge into the sunlit outdoors. Spring is such a lovely time of birth and new beginnings. It’s also a time of examining, of planning, and of paring down. The term “spring cleaning” gets a lot of use, and though most people tend to apply it to their surroundings, I often take this opportunity to turn my attention internally.

After a winter of heavy, hearty fare, I like to take some time in spring to “re-set” my balance. In the past I’ve made May the month of my annual cleanse, though it’s been a few years since I’ve done that and to be honest, I don’t know that I’ll ever do it again.

Still, I’m definitely feeling like freshening up, and I know just the thing to take me into tip-top form for summer. Raw foods! As my regular readers know, I flirt with raw foodism pretty frequently. I have no desire to be all-raw, all-the-time, but I absolutely adore raw foods and I feel my best when I’m eating a whole lot of them!

I’ve done a month of raw before and found it to be an enlightening endeavor. I was such a novice then, new to the raw foods scene, enthusiastic and experimental. These days I’m much more experienced. I understand my body and my needs in a way that I never have in the past. It’s really incredible. And it means that this time, I’m much more comfortable easing up on the intensity.

This first week I’ll be eating high-raw. Starting next Sunday I’ll aim to remain all raw for the rest of the month. But I’m going to follow my body’s cues and I’m also going to allow for unforeseen circumstances. Last time was about purity for the sake of juxtaposition. This time, I’m just trying to feel good!

So obviously, I know that most of you won’t be able to drop everything and jump into raw. Most of you probably don’t even want to, ha! But, what you can do is add some more raw, living, nutrient-dense and alkalinizing foods to your diet. I promise that after a month of that, you will be feeling a-mazing!

So, how about making it your mission to replace your standard breakfast with a big green smoothie, each and every morning?

Or, your goal could be to incorporate a glass of fresh green juice into your daily regimen (it’s a great afternoon pick-me-up!)

You could set the intention of eating a fresh salad every day for lunch, or making sure that every dinner is half cooked and at least half raw.

Or, you know, you could go vegan for 30 days! Switching from an omnivore’s diet to herbivorous eating is a great and easy way to kickstart a little healthy clean-out, if you know what I mean.

What do you say? Are you willing to eat a little healthier this May? What is your personal mission going to be?

Me, I just can’t wait to write all about my raw experiences this time around. And of course, to share all my amazing recipes! It’s going be a fun spring . . .

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Lady, you read my mind!! I am aiming to get as close to all raw as possible, with a few exceptions: sometimes I want to add a bit o’ toasted sesame oil to things, and if that urge is too hard to resist I’ll give in; I eat a quarter cup steel cut oats pre-run five days a week; and, I don’t want to give up beans. I can’t handle beans that are only sprouted, not cooked – learned the hard way. However, I am experimenting with sprouted, UNcooked lentils and so far so good!

    The ‘something new’ that I’m going to add to my daily routine this month is replacing one of my cups of coffee with green juice. The other cup of coffee is what I wake up for. :D

  • Kelsey

    I was just talking to my neighbor this weekend about how I usually end up mostly raw over the summer. It gets to be too hot to cook in our a/c free apartment in the summer, and raw foods are just so refreshing.

    I’m not sure that I will be up for all raw this month, but I have definitely been thinking about adding more raw. I started having green smoothies for breakfast last week!

  • Selina

    I’m going to make this my first Monthly Mission! :)

    Sadly, I think I had about four green salads since winter set in (and it’s still here where I live- it’s SNOWING right now). I incorporate greens into smoothies, and eat a lot of cut-up raw veggies, but I get most of my veggies cooked to death…so I’m going to go with a daily salad challenge!

  • Kate

    I eat TERRIBLE over the summer in AZ (which…starts now, in AZ). Lots of smoothies from jamba, lots of energy-dense processed foods (read: chocolate bundt cake from costco), lots of snacks (potato chips) and just JUNK. I love your posts on Juice. I’d like to try to go entirely vegan this month…I’m not off to a bad start! My goal will be adding in 3 juices a week, and reincorporating those delicious green smoothies for breakfast.

    PS, maybe a helpful RAW thing would be posting a consolidation of RAW recipes as your next blog post for those of us who lack inspiration?? :D

  • Olivia Jean

    I think this will be my first MMM also….I really need to cleanse, and I have already started juicing….so I think I can commit to the juice and the smoothies for sure, and I already eat lots of salad :D. I really really want to commit to the Vegan for a month also, but I eat with family a lot during the week, soooo we shall see!

  • Beens

    What timing! I have just starting drinking green smoothies! Banana, lime, apple and spinach – yummy!

    I found some red pepper powder in a Korean shop this week, so I’m going to have a go at making my own kimchi. I have also been salivating at the Raw Pecan Torte recipe; now seems like a good time to try it out :)

  • Stephanie

    This is the perfect MMM for me!
    I’m in! Green smoothies and (mostly) raw dishes for the rest of the month (and hopefully on!).
    This is going to be my transition BACK in to veganism… because I’ve just felt like crap since I started eating dairy and eggs again.

  • catherine

    i am a lurker, i check this blog 5 times a week and there is no other blog I do the same for, but i never say hello because i am not a vegan or even vegetarian, but more and more am considering it. BUT I Don’t want to eat fermented stuff. or drink it. or think about it. and i really especially don’t want to ferment something in my house. Soooooo How do you start and stay full without breaking the bank? When I was vegetarian in my college years i used cheese as the filler but don’t like that idea anymore….

  • Melisa

    I have a similar question to catherine. (Hi, catehrine!) I want to try raw meals but don’t know how to make complete, appetizing, filling raw meals. I have been making smoothies, and I am definitely going to try having one at least MOST mornings for breakfast.
    I am living proof that you can be vegetarian and still eat crummy and have NO energy, so I really want to change that.

  • Cary M

    Perfect timing. We started Raw week at our house yesterday. It’s amazing how good I felt after just one day of eating raw! I use the cookbook Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney. his recipes are simple and yummy. Vegan Raw chili with cashew sour cream is one of my favorite all time meals. Looking forward to pizza tomorrow night. And the Raw Strawberry Tart was divine. I’m going to try your recipe for sunflower seed burritos on Friday, can’t wait.

    I might be able to talk my husband into going raw all month, we’ll see :)

  • erosan

    @Catherine: hey, no shame in being omni. I am also a regular here, and am a proud omnivore and a self-proclaimed foodie. But I love my veggies…

    @Sayward: going all-raw is nuts, if you ask me (cue the rimshot). I mean, I seriously love my veggies, and I eat them from time to time in their raw form, but all the time? I would miss so much the Maillard reaction and it’s “caramelized” amino-flavours!

    But, I accept the challenge. Although, I will go raw just half of the month: see, I figure I do not know enough of (shame on me) the nutrition part of my veggies to form a complete raw diet. And since I am doing Shaun T’s Insanity, I need to be mindful of fueling my body… the workouts are hell.

    I’ll take half of the month to do my homework, and half to try and be at least super high-raw.

    So, how about some help? how do I supply my body with enough proteins on a raw diet? what is considered raw (I showed my ignorance a couple of posts ago when I asked about raw ice-cream)? do I smell a post on RAW101? Please?

  • Christina

    This will be my first MMM too! And it is such perfect timing. I’m going to do a cleanse after my Daughter is done school. So next month. But untill than this is perfect! I have one question, does eating raw still include a morning cup of coffee? I don’t think I could give that one up!

  • Moira

    Perfect timing! Angelo and I started green juice for breakfast this morning. This is now our monthly challenge.

  • nava

    this will be my first official MMM (I participated silently in a few). I started oil pulling and having green smoothies every morning a couple weeks ago; now I’m going to go vegan at least 5 days a week (maybe more, but 5 I can definitely stick with) and as raw as possible. Thankfully my kids love all this stuff, so I won’t have to be all sad eating a separate meal from them. :D

  • erosan

    @Christina: Coffee beans are roasted, so I think coffee is a no-go… there might be an alternative though.

    or you could go r*w in the same sense that Sayward went veg*n (for a while she ate eggs, you can read about it in the comments)

    :P I think I’ve spent way too much time in this blog, to be able to reference comments from old posts like this…

  • Christina

    OMG I feel sooo stupid about asking if coffee is raw! Yea duh, it’s ROASTED!! I even worked at a starbucks for eight years and went to the ROASTING plant! You know what, I wrote that this morning before I finished my coffee…. UGH!

  • Meghan

    Hmmmmmm… I like the idea of a raw month (probably not totally raw, but rawer), but I feel like I’d rather wait a month or two, when I have more fresh veggies from my garden, CSA, and farmers market at my disposal.

    (plus I always seem to do your mmm late anyway…)

  • erosan

    @Christina: no worries… I too asked a stupid question when I was wondering how to get my proteins while eating raw…

    raw != extreme veganism

    Since I am neither vegetarian nor vegan, I can eat sushi! and steak tartar! raw kibbeh! gosh… I’m salivating.

    or is there a rule against eating raw meat?

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    @erosan: the first time I went raw, my bf at the time was hard core raw, and he ate sashimi every day. I’m not sure if shashimi is technically okay, but he was definitely 100% raw. Fish was the only meat I know of that he ate, otherwise he was completely vegan. No dairy, eggs, honey, etc.

    So, I guess now I’m confused as I have no idea why he was vegan except for raw fish. Sorry! I was absolutely no help in this matter.

  • Alina S

    I’m down! Oi from Washington DC, everyone!

    I’m a dairy-free vegetarian who loves me some daily green juice. Thinking my version of the challenge will be at least one ALL RAW meal every day. Maybe even 2 once I get going!

  • catherine

    Alina- i can do one raw meal each day…good adaptation..

  • Sayward

    YAY! I love all the enthusiasm here, and how so many people are making this their first MMM. Woo-hoo! I actually thought this one would be a low-interest mission. Boy was I wrong (and I’m so glad to be wrong, ha!)

    I addressed some of the specifics and answered you guys’ questions in my most recent post – I think I got them all. If you have any other questions though, feel free to ask!

    Good luck everyone, this one is gonna be GOOD!

  • tara

    I am going to semi-participate in this mission. Ever since I’ve been alive, I suppose, I’ve been a very picky, very unhealthy eater. My goal right now is to add tons and tons of vegetables and fruits to my diet, with the distant goal of being vegan or at least dairy-free and just basically healthier. I took the first step tonight by not picking the tomatoes off my alternative pizza we had, marking the first time I’ve eaten an actual chunk of tomato! Shocking, I know. lol. Next up: cucumbers!

  • ellie

    as an omnivore, i think this month, i’m going to try and eat as close to vegetarian as i can. my roommate and i don’t normally keep a lot of meat around the apartment anyway, but there is a difference in just eating meat because we don’t have any, and making a conscious decision to try and avoid it.
    i figure this trying to control what i eat for a month maybe a interesting precursor to to the 21 day melon cleanse i plan to do in June

  • Sara

    Question: Why don’t you think you will do another cleanse? Do you think it’s bad? I was thinking about doing one after I get home from France and go back to full vegan. Get all of these pastries out of my system.

  • Minna

    Yay for raw food! Yay, yay, yay! I was *trying* to switch to raw last month but I was obviously being a little too enthusiastic about that… I soon realised I’m just a poor little student and eating raw can get quite costly. And nothing’s “better” than fried junk food (like veggie dogs!) when you’re a little depressed! So anyway, this MMM just gave me new inspiration and I’m going to give it another shot this month. I think I’ll make it one raw meal a day (green smoothie for brekky, salad for lunch or something raw for dinner) cause that won’t break my wallet :)

    (…If only I could buy all organic! I *hate* the thought of pesticides… It’s almost like it nulls the point of eating raw.)

    Can’t wait for the recipes!

  • Julie

    Someday I will hopefully get a dehydrator…but in the meantime I found this useful article in case there are others who want a cost-effective method of dehydrating foods without a dehydrator:

  • Sayward

    I love that people are adapting this mission to their own personal goals. That’s so great! Exactly what I’d hoped, and I love hearing all the different versions.

    @ Sara – I have mixed feelings on cleanses now. Truly mixed – I’m still sorting out how I feel. I do know – and I can’t deny – that I learned a *lot* about myself and my body be doing a cleanse, and it really was a beneficial experience for me. However, I think there’s a LOT of misinformation out there, a LOT of irresponsible people and leaders, and mostly a LOT of people abusing their bodies under the guise of “cleansing”. So part of me doesn’t want to be associated with any of that. Another part of me knows about my positive experience and wants to share that. So yeah, like I said, very mixed . . .

  • kory

    I’ve been really working on adding a lot more nutrient dense foods to our diet, and considering I came from a family where wonder bread with butter on it was a staple at dinner and my husband refused to eat even things like broccoli when we got together (10 years!) ago, we’ve come a long, long way.

    However… raw is still a tough one for me. I rarely like the ‘raw’ things I try (I like raw fruits and veggies, just not the more creative raw things :)

    SO my mod on this challenge will be to get used to some new things- like spirulina, cacao, molases (all things I love the nutritional value of, but not the taste), to try juicing, and to make sure there is something raw at every meal (even if it’s just carrot sticks)

    *end novel*

  • Kate

    I didn’t go raw for this month, but I did decide to go vegan (I haven’t done a MMM in forever!). Surprisingly, as I am vegetarian and don’t eat a lot of dairy, it’s been pretty easy. It’s also FASCINATING to learn about all the ways animal products end up in food [eg, "uh, the bread has calcium [unpronounceable word] in it, which is either derived from dairy or bones, so it’s not vegan”. Which, in my head I think “if it’s derived from bones it’s not vegetarian either…..”

    I can tell that I miss eggs (in baked goods and as a sunday morning breakfast), and I plan to get chickens in my backyard someday, but I don’t miss dairy other than cheese. I can tell I’ll certainly be a lot more ‘vegan’ in my meat free meals.


    If you wouldn’t mind a quick post on your favorite flavor combinations, that would be SUPER helpful :)

  • Sara

    Thank you so much for the honest answer! I kind of got that feeling from other blogs I have read about that…and I don’t know if I have the right intentions going into it so I will have to do some soul searching.

  • Sayward

    @ Kate – SO happy to hear you’ve gone vegan and are enjoying it! And yes, a juice recipe post coming tomorrow!