More Makeover Talk, and Weekend Highlights

Hey guys!

I am so, so touched by all of your enthusiasm for the new and improved Choosing Raw! Thank you all so much for your comments and kind words. I adore you.

Of course, I can’t actually take any of the credit for my blog’s new look. All of that goes to Zesty Blog Consulting, and the wonderful man behind it. Cory (known to us bloggers as Zest, Zesty, and The Computer God) did a spectacular job of gauging my blog’s needs and potential for growth in 2010. The fundamental aesthetic shift of the blog–to a brighter and more spacious look–was right in keeping with what I’d asked Cory for. But he went far beyond my directives, and elevated my blog to a place I might only have dreamed of. What I love about the new look is that it’s so unbelievable simple, so clean: in other words, my blog suddenly matches my food!

That’s Cory’s real talent: giving his clients blog aesthecitcs that are worthy of (and in keeping with) their content.  Thanks to him, Choosing Raw‘s look now jives completely with its character. It’s a look I can grow with, and take with me into the future. Thanks so much, Cory. Anyone who’s interested in Cory’s blog makeovers can email him for details. In addition to being a techie wiz, he also happens to be a pretty nice guy:-)

Note to people who’ve emailed me about subscribing via RSS or email: until this weekend, my subscriptions didn’t seem to be working. The kinks have been ironed out, and my subscriptions ought to be up and running. Click the icons at the top right to get Choosing Raw subscription service!

So yeah, I’m loving my blog’s new look. But it wasn’t the only highlight of my weekend. Other favorites included:

Colorful new measuring cups (yes, I am a loser):

Ribbons of raw kale at lunchtime:

Decadent yet healthful post-workout shakes (that’s frozen banana, cacao nibs, chia seeds, almond butter, and water, in case you were wondering):

Wonderful new clients (those are my preliminary notes for a meal plan):

The return of guacamole season (glory, glory hallelujah):

(Served over Lydia’s crackers, avec salade.)

The invitation to my best friend’s wedding (!):

The view from my apartment window at dusk (I love you, Upper West Side):

An incredible new array of raw nut butters to try, from Futter’s Nut Butters. I’m especially psyched to try Macadamia! Thank you so much to Liz for her generous and surprising gift! <3

Spontaneously awesome, leftover utilizing dinners:

(That’s 1/2 cup navy beans, 1 chopped roma tomato, 1/3 chopped red pepper, 1/2 small chopped zucchini, 1/4 cup chopped broccoli, sauteed in coconut oil, coriander, oregano, s+p, nooch, and fresh parsley, served over massaged kale salad.)

Now it’s your turn, CR readers: what were your weekend highlights?

More importantly, please keep letting me know what you’d like to see more of here on the blog. I already got one comment saying you’d like to see more Raw Food Rehab posts, a la Marathon Val’s appearance here. I’d love that, but in order to make that happen, I need to know what sorts of raw pitfalls people tend to be having. I can guess about what some of them are, but I’d love to hear it from you. If you’d like, please email me a raw road block you’re having at, with the subject line Raw Food Rehab. (NB: This is not an invitation to send me detailed and personal health inquiries, nor rundowns of what you yourself eat each day. The idea is to bring up a difficulty you think might be applicable to everyone.)

Have a lovely, restful Sunday night.


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Categories: Uncategorized
Ingredients: Kale

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  1. Hi Gena!
    Can you give me your approximate measurements for your post workout shake? It looks super yummy and I love to have shakes after my workouts, but I’m in a rut and could use a new recipe! Thanks!

    • Drat! I don’t really remember. I think it was a big frozen banana, 2 tbsp raw cacao (I remember that part), chia seeds (maybe a tablespoon?), almond butter (1-2 tbsp?), water, and a lot of ice. I like smoothies really thick.

  2. I LOVE your cups! I just got a huge set of mixing bowls in similar colors… I think I’ve been baking just so I don’t have to put them away! πŸ™‚

  3. I have to second Mama Pea. I switched to stainless steel measuring because I kept snapping the handles off of the plastic ones. so use caution if scooping πŸ™‚

  4. Congratulations on your anniversary (and late congrats on your quitiversary!)

    I’m glad that you plan to continue discussing poignant and very pertinent issues, such as body image and disordered eating. I remember feeling such relief when I read your posts that touched on these subjects… they are very close to my heart and are large constituents of my life now. In reading some of the commentary that was initiated by these posts, I found out that these issues are very much a part of other women’s lives as well. To say the least, I felt a sense of comfort that I am not alone. It takes courage to dive into this area.

    Thank you.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to look into a few subjects? I’ve been interested in a few things… these are the top 2 on my list:

    1. Separating relationships with food and exercise. (i.e. how to severe the “exercising to eat” mindset. I know you touched on this in your Top Tips for Women’s Health post… and I would love to see more on this complicated problem.)

    2. I remember in one of your posts you mentioned you were making sauerkraut. I’ve been interested in fermenting foods, but have been very, very skeptical about the safety of the process. (i.e. foodborne illness.) Would you be willing to provide instructions for fermenting foods (and a sense of assurance)!

    Again, congratulations on coming so far with your blog. To many more adventures in seeking balance, health, and happiness!

    P.S. Weekend highlights? Picking up gorgeous produce at the local Farmer’s Market (cilantro, pansies, loads of hydroponic veggies and strawberries from my buddy Gary); cruising with my Gram and helping her pick out some plants for her front yard; helping an elderly lady load her van in a parking lot and taking up her cart… feels good to reach out to others. πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Gena,

    I recently stumbled upon your website and I absolutely LOVE it!
    I have a quick question about food combining and avocados (also my favourite food!). You said that they combine with starches, however some other sources on the net I was reading say that they combine with protein, and actually one source sais that they are neutral, so I’m a bit confused. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks for doing such a great job. I look forward to coming to work each day to check out if you’ve posted something new!

  6. Hi Gena! I’m loving the new layout, is so fresh!
    That smoothie looks delish! And that view from your appartment is wonderful, it even makes me wish I lived in a big city πŸ˜›
    I have a question, why do you favor kale over spinach? Is it more nutritious? or is it a personal preference only?
    Have a nice week Gena πŸ™‚

  7. Sorry I am a little late, but I LOVE your new look. Green is my favorite color ; )

    The design is perfect, so welcoming!! Congrats on one year mark!!

    Hope you are doing well! xoxo michelle

  8. Haha, I get excited about colorful measuring cups too!
    I thought of you yesterday in the grocery store actually–I saw a giant display of avocados on sale. I thought, “Gena would be so happy!”

  9. Have you done much with fermented foods and their place in our lives? I’m trying my own water kefir, which is supposed to be SO easy, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s right.

  10. GORGEOUS salad. when you say sauteed in coconut oil, did you cook those veggies? or did you just put them on your salad raw and then pour the rest of the ingredients on top? i am interested because it just made my mouth drool and definitely going to be my lunch πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Gena! Your makeover looks very clean and professional. Well done! I have one quick question. I tend to catch up on posts from over the weekend on Mondays, which I am currently doing but I noticed that at the bottom (or top) of your current post there is no easy way to navigate to the previous days post. Am I missing something here? Do I need to go into the archives to see yesterday’s post??

  12. Hi Gena, I would like to read about skin, body and hair care and about supplements. In regards to supplements which ones are a must because of climate or soil’s poor nutrient value or facotry farming of fruits and vegetables, under ripe produce delivered to stores and non organic (when unavailable)etc. For example are there some supplements we just have to take (ie D)or can we get everything we need from well chosen food? I’ve read a lot lately about magnesium oil and how 80% of North Americans afre deficient in magnesium. Perhaps you could do a series of posts on the topic of supplements. More information on disordered eating and how it effects health status later in life; the third and fourth decade for example. And finally, some ideas on simple living; take the simple food idea and expanding it into a simple approach to life. Thank you again for your great work Gena, your site and philosophy are gifts to your readers.

  13. This is the first I’ve seen of the new look, and I LOVE IT! So crisp and clean, much like the raw food you write about. Also, I love the measuring cups (I’m a loser too!), and the bean salad looks delicious.

  14. Hi Gena! I echo all of the positive comments you are getting on the site transitions. I want to add my support for your suggested blog topic of skin care. The world of harmful chemicals in our hygeine products is difficult to understand in all of the misleading advertising. My goal is to find a regimine that keeps me fresh faced and makeup free. The foundation of this is diet, of course, but I’m also looking for safe and healthful products to boost my vanity. I have recently been using ayurvedic oils and have found a new glow to my skin. I’m curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you!!!!!

  15. Funny, I got a save the date for MY best friend’s wedding this weekend. It’s in August! Amazing how she has planned this wedding at like, Mach 5 speed.

    Anyway I’m slow in commenting on your gorgeous new blog look! I’m all about the clean layout–it’s something I hope to improve upon on my own site. One of these days, if/when I get really serious about it, a call to the Zest man is surely in order.

    Looking forward to following the bright future of Choosing Raw! xo

  16. That is one yummy looking smoothie πŸ™‚ And congratulations on your friends wedding… err invitation. I love weddings! The highlight of my weekend? Getting another two dozen roses as a feel better gift.

  17. I love putting fun stuff over kale salads! And white beans are my favorite, totally yummy dish!!!

    Pretty new cups!! And gorgeous view! Great weekend!!

    I signed up for your feed! YAY!!!

    My highlight: Malomar from One lucky duck! πŸ™‚

  18. The smoothie and salad look scrumptious. Leftovers can make such delightful meals.

    I keep meaning to pick up chia seeds – where can I find them in the area? Also, I tried nutritional yeast, and it’s my new favorite vegetable topping. Yum. πŸ˜€

  19. I ran my first half marathon and chilled at the house away from college the rest of the weekend. It was lazy with no work and glorious!

  20. The blog looks wonderful Gena!

    May the next year be just as rewarding as the last for your blog and business!

    Casey xo

  21. Hello there!

    Highlights of the weekend… Sunshine, enjoying time with the Husband, enjoying Bristol, and great food πŸ™‚

    Great view from your apartment. Can’t wait to go New York one day. xxx

  22. Love the new lighter, less formal, Gena in this post! You seem much more relaxed, every day eats, measuring cups, views from your apt…love the little things that make up YOUR life and seeing it is fab! Now I love any side of Gena you wanna show, but this was great and love the change!

    • Hey B!

      I gotta get on the glass smoothies. This happened to be at the bottom of one of my bags. That’s not an excuse, but it was either going to stay there for another year, or I was going to use it and ditch it.

      I emailed Penni bout the name, no worries πŸ˜‰ We’re doing majorly different stuff with it, and I mentioned her program last time I talked about it, so we’re cool.


  23. Some of the difficulties that I have with eating raw foods more than on rare occasions is that I can only eat so much of one food before I get bored of it. Sometimes this happens before I’m full, so I might have a snack, a little bit of leftovers, or have the next meal a bit earlier to get myself full.
    However, when eating raw, it seems that I really need to eat a lot to get full, and since I don’t keep raw leftovers on hand, and not usually any raw snacks, I have to end up making two or three different things to get full. Which although would be fine by me, is kind of time consuming, even with your super quick recipes.

    Then another thing I’ve noticed, is that raw leftovers seem to get yucky faster. Probably because nothing has any preservatives or anything like that, but say, if I were to make some spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce, and put some leftovers in the fridge, it would last much longer than some spiralized zucchini and sun-dried tomato sauce.

  24. I can already see the changes in your blog style (not just the layout). I like!

    A little tip about those measuring cups (which I have, can you believe it?!), the handles snap off pretty easily if what you are measuring is pretty dense or heavy. I broke the handle off the “1 cup” size in FLOUR. No joke. I think the 1/2 cup is also broken. How much do you love the little 1/8 c. guy, though?

    Yes, my whole comment WAS about measuring cups. Nice.

  25. Hello!
    I really like the makeover. But I’ve got one suggestion for it. Before, you had a picture of just an avocado. I think that fit you really well, partially because it’s your favorite food, and partially because it was *just* a vegetable, raw and completely pure. I think it gave your new readers a little bit of an idea of what to expect from your foods. Simple and pure foods. I also liked that it was not a completely “Perfect” avocado. It had some clear flaws, but looked great nonetheless, which reminded me that no one is perfect, we all have our flaws, but we’re still wonderful.

  26. hmmm…i worked this weekend and kyle was out of town, so my highlights are pretty pathetic. all of my patients’ health improved and more people at work found out about my plans to move home and were thrilled for me. its nice to know that my coworkers really do care about my happiness…and that my patients are on the mend. stupid weekend updates, but oh well.

    • Um….helping save lives and get people healthier is stupid? I don’t think so. Your weekend trumps mine, darlin.

  27. Weekend highlights: two cute new tank tops, delicious produce and a lunch wrap from the farmers market, seeing my fiancee, and talking with students just admitted to my alma mater.
    Also delicious Burmese food tonight cooked by my roommate!
    Alas, not nearly enough work completed, if any, and a very stressful week ahead!

  28. I love this post! The measuring cups, gorgeous salad, lovely wedding invitations (very classy looking!), guac and view all made me very happy. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  29. That post-workout smoothie sounds like food of the gods with all those yummy ingredients! I love the new look of CR – I guess I am catching it a little bit later than others, I regret not being around too much lately to see it all! Send me a little message if you plan to have any lunchies out next Sunday the 18th and wanna meet up – I’ll be in Chi-town then too! πŸ™‚

    And congrats on the quitiversary!

  30. Your new look is so spring-y and clean. I love it!

    I love simple, easy recipes, especially now that summer is coming. Maybe some dips and snacks that are raw, simple and nut-free?

    Is that asking a lot? πŸ˜€

  31. my weekend highlights were celebrating my bday with good friends and family…and i purchased the 9 tray excalibur…can’t wait to make raw crackers and breads…

    lady your guac looks to die for…i’m totally drooling!!!


  32. I wish I lived in NYC…love the view. And your leftovers dinner. I love repurposing leftovers, which I am doing tonight as well! Somehow yours just look much better though, I have to admit!

    Have a great week!

  33. Beautiful salad and the smoothie looks very yum! Oh my, I’ve never tried macadamia butter, but must make some now! My weekend was pretty tame thanks to icky weather and a sick hubby, but I did accomplish a lot at home and got down time after a busy week. I pretty much enjoy all your posts, but really love trying all your recipes – like Lucky Hemp Bread this weekend. πŸ™‚

  34. I have a chocolate banana almond milk smoothie kind of like that one almost every day! I love it! Great post andt the salad looks delish!

  35. That salad is just my style! and so easy! My weekend highlight came early– definitely seeing you on thursday. I can’t wait to try out my new dresses, perhaps with belted cardigan πŸ˜‰

  36. That salad is just my style! and so easy! My weekend highlight came early– definitely seeing you on thursday. I can wait to try out my new dresses, perhaps with belted cardigan πŸ˜‰

  37. I can hardly wait to be one of your new clients! Here are a few things I’d like to see more of:

    1. How do you manage being a guest in someone else’s home (that doesn’t eat like you do) without being rude?

    2. How do you make your green smoothies?

    3. What are some good tips as someone transitions to a more raw, healthy diet? I saw you mentioned going raw all day until dinner. What are some other tricks of the trade to make a slow (and therefore more sustainable) transition?

  38. The new look is stellar! Your makeover encouraged me to re-do mine a bit… it’s so fun!

    Weekend highlights: celebrated the husband’s birthday with my family, grocery shopped, made a few new recipes, got my nails did… nothing all that exciting though!

    Have a great Monday!

  39. I love the new look, it is so clean and easy to read! I love reading recipes of foods you eat, raw or cooked. Question, typically would a smoothie like that keep you full enough for it to me considered a meal? I am just getting into smoothies and juicing and trying to see where it fits in my day of food. Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Hey Nicole!

      Smoothies are RARELY enough for me to serve as a meal — breakfast, lunch, or other. I almost always eat them as snacks; if I have a smoothie for breakfast, I’ll usually eat it WITH something else, or follow it up with a snack soon after. This morning, I ran, came home, chugged a smoothie before a client, and then munched on a raw snack bar a little while after. But I’ve never been one for liquid meals: no matter how nutrient dense or calorie dense, they just don’t keep me full.

      This isn’t true for EVERYONE; I have some clients who can do smoothies for breakfast or lunch and feel like gold. But it’s not the way my body responds. I can occasionally have juice in the morning and go straight to lunch, but that’s almost always born of necessity, not choice. It is a very rare day on which I don’t need a substantive meal, so I save my blended food for snacks or meal components.

      Hope that helps!