Eating Raw in the D.R.

I’d never heard of people only eating raw foods until I met a couple who own a “raw” restaurant in Baja California a few months ago . Intrigued by the idea of “eating raw” I bought a DSC_0047book about it and found out that the raw diet is made up of lots of seeds, nuts, and dehydrated foods as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Since then I borrowed a dehydrator from a friend and started experimenting. I’ve found it to be a bit challenging here in the D.R. being that some recipes require 36 hours of dehydrating and I’m only likely to get 8 to 13 hours of electricity a day. And a lot of the recipes call for special health food ingredients that don’t exist here. However, it’s fun to experiment!

So here’s what I’ve been eating these past few days. DSC_0044 blog

My first meal after a seven day fresh juice feast: “raw” banana bread, fruit salad, and carrot juice.  (Raw Banana Bread: 1 cup ground flax seeds, 1 cup ground sunflower seeds, 3 bananas, and a little honey; mixed in the food processor and then kept in the dehydrator for roughly 18 hours).


My second raw meal: a tomato cheese sandwich on onion bread  and a green salad. (Raw Onion Bread: 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds, 1/2 cup raw ground sunflower seeds, 1/8 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos, 1/8 cup olive oil, and three small onions sliced thinly; all ingredients mixed in a bowl and put in the dehydrator for 36 hours). (Sunflower Seed Cheese: 1 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked for 6-8 hours, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 clove garlic, and a few tbsp’s water; blended together until creamy).


My third raw meal: vegetables with hummus and mini veggie & cheese sandwiches on onion bread.
(Raw Hummus: 1 cup sunflower seeds soaked for 1 hour, 2 cups zucchini peeled and chopped, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 2 teaspoons salt; mixed in the blender until creamy).


Yes it’s actually possible to make raw chips to go with your fresh salsa, and it’s really easy too. (Raw Corn Tortilla Chips: I put 3 cups frozen corn, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 medium sized onion, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder, and 2 tsp salt in a food processor and mixed it until smooth…. then added 1 cup ground golden flaxseed and 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds, mixed until smooth, spread the mixture out as thin as possible and then put it into the dehydrator for roughly 12 hours.

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(Raw Carrot Cake: 1/2 cup raisins, 3/4 cup shredded carrot, 3 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1/4 cup homemade dried coconut, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp honey, 1/4 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger, and 1/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds blended until all ingredients are well combined and then put in the dehydrator for about 4 hours). (Raw Sunflower Seed Frosting:1 cup raw soaked sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp water, and a pinch of salt; blended until smooth and creamy).

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(Raw corn tortillas -for soft tacos and wraps: 2 cups golden flax seeds soaked for 4 hrs, 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 1 cup corn, 1/4 ripe avocado, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds soaked for 1 hr, 1/8 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tbsp lime juice all blended in the food processor, spread into thin circles and dehydrated for roughly 4 hours).

DSC_0103 My favorite raw foods treat, chocolate coconut balls. (Raw chocolate coconut balls: 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup cashews, 1 cup pitted dates, 1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder blended well in the food processor, shaped into balls and rolled in dried coconut).

So in conclusion of my raw foods experiment, I think everyone who likes to cook and wants to be healthier should try it for a week or two. I personally feel a bit healthier and have been surprised by how good raw food tastes!


Still Waiting

Yesterday people all over the country were going to schools and public buildings from 6am to 6pm to vote. 
DSC_0163The two main parties here are the Purple party or PLD (Dominican Liberation Party) 
DSC_0175 and the white party or PRL (Dominican Revolutionary Party).DSC_0181 DSC_0190 Most people are very dedicated to one or the other political party, not because they share the same beliefs or think their candidate is the better man for the job. But because they’re more likely to get a government job or financial help if their political party is in power.
DSC_0193DSC_0196Today, the day after the elections, there’s a lot of noise in the streets as people celebrate whenever their political party is announced to be in the lead.
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DSC_0244 DSC_0246 DSC_0255 However, all the celebrating is a bit premature as the votes from each community are still being counted. Hopefully by the end of the day we’ll find out who actually won.

The final results:
About four days after the elections some officials finally announced that the Governor for the purple party (the one responsible for paving roads in the barrio) had won by more than 1000 votes. I think they new the final results sooner, but due to fear that riots and fights would break out they decided to wait. The purple party won in almost every province in the country (governor, mayor, etc.) and now holds 31 of the 32 senate seats.


More Road Work

To my surprise the government continued to work on the streets in the barrio all the way up to two days before the elections. Only four streets got paved with asphalt but all the roads got covered with tar and gravel (even the street I live on!). Supposedly if the PLD political party wins the elections here in La Vega they’ll come back quickly to finish the work they started.
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Beautiful Creator

I was going through some of my photos and just had to take a minute to enjoy this beach scene. When I took these pictures I don’t think it hit me how beautiful the beaches are here, actually, I often take them for granted. Yet for some reason this morning these pictures reminded me how beautiful and amazing our creator must be to have made something (and so many other things) so lovely. DSC_0693DSC_0692


Running for Office

The “purple” political party has been busy in the barrio. They’ve paved a few roads. They’ve turned popular meringue songs into catchy tunes that boast about how great they are. They’ve made lots of promises to do even more work in the barrio. They’ve handed out cash to people asking for help. And just a few days ago they handed out plates of food right in front of my house. (They gave me a really big plate of rice and chicken!) DSC_0007DSC_0004DSC_0002  DSC_0025DSC_0020DSC_0011DSC_0014


Intolerance to milk, not poisoning

Just a few days ago there was a news report that at least 56 school children in Rio San Juan suffered food poisoning after drinking what is thought to be contaminated milk. The children who were affected were taken to several medical centers with symptoms such as nausea, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea and general weakness.
I thought it was pretty humorous the following day when the news informed us that actually the children had simply suffered from intolerance to the flavored milk and had not been poisoned by the Ladom milk product.
I’m not sure what to believe but I think I’ll stay away from the milk provided by the government for a while!