Friday, January 18, 2008

I Love A Cocktail

I sure do. I have always been fond of fermented beverages....wines especially. I have even prided myself in years past on my knowledge of wines and champagnes, giving much attention to the detail of paring my heavily cooked, gourmet dinners with just the right varietal to impress and captivate my guest's palates. Then I went raw. Then I became a vegan. Then I gave up alcohol.

I knew the day was coming. My body and my complexion told me the time was fast approaching that I needed to relinquish my daily companion of spirits. Once over 40, the "mornings after" weren't cute anymore. Once high raw, my system grew more and more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, yet my beverage of choice was my friend, my comfort and my fun. So I believed.

Recently I had a routine blood test. The findings were disturbing. My liver enzymes were actually good, yet I had a condition called Macrocytosis, which is the appearance of enlarged red blood cells. My doctor told me that it was most likely my diet....the number one cause of this condition is anemia. The only other cause would generally be alcoholism. As she told me this, my heart sunk within me. Could it be that I was actually an alcoholic? She went ahead and ordered further testing.

Two weeks went by. My doctor was baffled by the second set of results. No real sign of anemia. Liver was in decent what's going on? She told me that she was pretty sure it was my diet and that I should probably not do "the raw thing." "Most vegetarians suffer from anemia," she said. I came back with, "But you say I'm not anemic?" "Well, no, but you're probably not getting enough protein. So just add meat back into your diet and we'll recheck you in a few months." I left her office that day, and I have not been back.

Intuitively, I knew what the problem was. It had to be my evening past time. I researched everything I could find on macrocytosis....everything pointed to the booze. I went ahead and started a B complex and folic acid supplementation program for good measure, but I was face to face with the fact that the time was now to put down the champagne glass and get on with my true goal of getting completely healthy.

I decided to set a realistic goal. Get through the holidays and give up the sauce on January 1st, 2008. So, that's what I have done. I haven't looked back and I very honestly haven't missed it a drop. I don't miss the headaches, the sinus drainage nor do I miss the feeling of something having control over me. I hadn't looked at it like that before I quit, but I now see that it had me in it's seductive little clutches.

I do have a powerful secret on how I've made this transition so smoothly, which is the main reason I've even gone into this saga. I have been experimenting with kombucha and rejulevac and making my own raw cocktails at happy hour. My husband and I have been loving the flavors and the way we feel. Drinking a raw concoction about 30 minutes to an hour prior to dinner really aids in the digestion and assimilation of meals. These drinks are completely satisfying and the perfect transition away from traditional cocktails and away from alcohol of any kind.

Here is an example of one of our favorites:

Blood Orange Raw Mojito

the juice of two blood oranges
the juice of two limes
a bunch of muddled fresh mint
a good squeeze of agave nectar
16 ounces of rejuvelac or kombucha

Place all ingredients into a martini shaker and gently mix. Pour into chilled martini or wine glasses. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Savor and allow the tensions of the day fall away.


Michelle said...

I am right there with you. It has been a struggle for me to give up the alcohol at different points in my journey. I really enjoyed beer and there isn't a good substitute for that but I did make raw mojitos that are similar to your recipe without the oranges and they were really good and satisfying. Non raw foodies even liked them.

Dea said...

Hey lady, great post. When I grow up I want to be just like you, no wait we r the same age! Lol, anyway. I have cut down major, you can't really drink on a raw diet but I do have wine and make rich raw dishes so I can have a glass on weekends. I don't think I can ever go back to having vodka martinis and cosmos (so 90's!) like back a few yrs ago.
I must say I had kombucha quite often while visitng home in May June 07 and it kinda gave me a buzz...r u guys making yr own kombucha? Kombucha w/blood oranges sounds amazing.
Haven't made rejuvelac yet, will wait til I am stateside... amazing post, coragous, inspirational, real...what a great writer you are. Ciao bella xo Dea

Bob Bush said...

If it wasn't so cold out, I'd be heading for the grocery right now! This is a Monday night must. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to on a Monday.

bpmccullough said...

Great blog, the real question is, where in Tulsa am I going to find blood oranges. Per my girlfriends request.

Penni in Tulsa said...

Whole Foods/Wild Oats has great blood oranges right now! You better hurry though, because I'm going there to stock up again this afternoon ;->
Thanks for reading!

Fruitarian Mango - Raw Vegan, Fruit Only.. said...

Nice to see you enjoying the benefits of fruit! ..It's the best food out there!

Mango the Fruitarian

Keely said...

AaahhH! I have you to thank for last night's wonderful drink! My hubby is Bob Bush and he did follow through and make them Monday night!!! Yum!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I live in Oklahoma City! Glad to have a raw foodie near me!

Penni in Tulsa said...

YEA! Another raw foodie in OKC, how exciting! I love finding out that I am not alone out here in Oklahoma. Thanks for finding me!

wyldegirl said...

hey beautiful and oh so glowy girl! just wanted to tell you i've passed along the inspirational blogger award to you (even if you've already received it, at this point it's hard to tell who has and hasn't!!), your turn to choose 5!
aren't kombucha cocktails heaven? i love original with fresh squeezed orange juice- MIMOSAS baby!
xx jenny

snico said...

oooo.... more recipes please!!! And where can I find a kombucha culture?

Penni in Tulsa said...

Hi Snico...there are a good number of places one can get kombucha starters online. Just do a search and you'll find lots of options. For my cocktail, I simply bought original kombucha at Whole Foods. It's about $2.99 per bottle, so I want to start brewing my own, as well. I'll do a post about this soon in the future.
Thanks for reading!