400 lbs Ago: The Philip McCluskey Story

October 13, 2009

by contributor Philip McCluskey

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I’m a sexy guy. I’ve fallen in love with myself, because I am a beautiful, sexy, gorgeous man. I feel like I can say that without worrying that my ego needs to be checked at the door . . . Because I used to be 400lbs.

See, I’ve been overweight my entire life, starting as a “cute” chubby little kid, all the way to morbidly obese and not so cute in my twenties. I tried every fad diet, fasting program and fancy gym equipment there was. Nothing worked. I was still overweight and I still despised myself. It wasn’t until I chose a raw vegan lifestyle and to begin practicing self-adoration that my life became amazingly sexy, full and alive.BeforePhilip
It was the living food and the way it helped start the kickass circle of falling in love with ME. I felt better as I was losing weight like crazy, so I liked myself more. As I began to like myself more, I started positive affirmations in front of mirrors and I smiled even when I didn’t feel like it. Sometimes I felt self-conscious but I kept adoring myself, or at least working on it. And now. . . I think I’m the sexiest piece of raw vegan “meat” out there.

Eating raw living uncooked organic vegan food (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds) was just the beginning. It led to so many other changes, as I began respecting and caring for the planet, becoming eco-conscious, thinking about the present moment, letting go of control, exercising and actually enjoying it, learning to trust and adventuring in the outside world, feeling like a kid again and yet becoming fully a man that I love and actually really admire.

AfterPhilip

So my goal was really always to become half the man I was. . . And through self-love and the best raw vegan food ever, I did.

Now about that food! Here’s my favorite sexy salad recipe that is easy to make with whatever you have on hand, can be put in a heaping man-sized bowl, and is as spicy and flavorful as you can handle.

Salad

  1. Rip up one head of greens (kale, farmer’s market lettuce, dandelion, wild mesclun, go crazy and think outside the iceberg lettuce box)
  2. Add 1 avocado, pitted and mashed
  3. Throw in any sliced raw veggies you want, whatever is local and in season is best for the planet and for your body. I think my favorite additions this time of year are the last of the delicious sungold tomatoes, I just add a handful or two whole.
  4. Rip up a bunch of dulse, add some kelp powder, soaked wakame, hijiki, sprinkles of blue green algae or the incredible sparkly crystal manna. . .get those superfoods from the sea!
  5. Add whatever other flavorings and seasons you want: nutritional yeast, raw nuts/seeds (I’m addicted to hemp seeds), Bragg’s Amino Acids, Himalayan Sea Salt, cayenne pepper, chipotle, even a little raw nut-cheese every now and then. . .the whole idea is to play, experiment, mash it up and dig in.

Eat and be sexy.

Philip McCluskey
www.lovingraw.com


Raw Sweet-Pesto “Pasta”

September 18, 2009

RawPestoPasta

The last recipe I did was a cooked, more traditional version of sweet pesto pasta – but for those of you who like it raw, I offer you my uncooked interpretation. Zucchini, squash (and even eggplant and carrots!) can be shredded into thin, linguine-like strips. If you suffer from gluten allergies, want to shrink your carb-footprint, or just want a lighter, healthier dish – check this cheap and easy (just like me!) recipe:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 1 med-large zucchini
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove raw garlic
  • 2 dried black mission figs
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast*
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shred the zucchini very thinly (using almost no pressure).
  2. In a blender, combine the basil, cashews, avocado, water, garlic, figs, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt, and Italian seasoning. Save the black pepper for putting on top!
  3. Pour the pesto over the shredded “pasta”, mix, top with the pepper, and serve!

Q&A

*Sometimes when I include Nutritional Yeast in a raw recipe, readers ask, “Is Nutritional Yeast actually raw?”.

The answer is no, it’s not raw. However, you NEVER want to eat raw yeast! Nutritional Yeast it is a really valuable supplement with a rock-star nutritional profile. So if you’re religiously raw – skip it. If not, it’s crucial – and tastes like yummy, nutty, cheesy goodness! According to Sundance Natural Foods:

Raised On Molasses
Nutritional yeast is grown on mineral enriched molasses and used as a food supplement. At the end of the growth period, the culture is pasteurized to kill the yeast. You never want to use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and actually uses up the vitamin B in the body instead of replenishing the supply. (Brewer’s yeast is nutritionally the same but as a by-product of the beer-brewing industry it has a characteristic bitter hops flavor.)

It’s Good For Ya’
Nutritional yeast contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Being rich in the B-complex vitamins, it is vital in many ways and particularly good for stress reduction. The B-complex vitamins help make nutritional yeast such a valuable supplement, especially to the vegetarian. It is one of the rare vegetarian sources of B12.
One element of yeast is the trace mineral chromium, also known as the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). This is necessary to regulate blood sugar and is important for diabetics and people with a tendency toward low blood sugar.

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Shirts, Books, Kicks, Bites

August 27, 2009

• Buy A Cool Organic Shirt from PARTYBOTS, Help Mercy For Animals!

$2 from every online apparel sale and 5% from all wholesale order get donated to Mercy For Animals to help assist in their efforts for animal compassion, education, investigations, grassroots activism and more.

True RomanceSea OtterTuna School Of FishVelocipede Boneshaker

Check out these new books from some of our favorite animal advocates:

The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in TroubleDon't Dump the Dog: Outrageous Stories and Simple Solutions to Your Worst Dog Behavior Problems

• Just for Kicks. Check these new, striking cruelty-free shoes.Zip Top Boot

• Check out some of the amazing recipes at G LIVING. The recipes are delectable, and photographed beautifully. We re drooling over here!

Banfield, the nation’s largest veterinary practice with 730 hospitals and 2,000 Banfield, The Pet Hospital, a national chain of veterinary clinics associated with PetsMart, says it will no longer perform tail docking or ear cropping on dogs. The practice is common with breeds like Doberman Pinschers, Boxers and various spaniels and terriers.veterinarians, including many in PetSmart stores, announced it will stop performing cosmetic tail docking, ear cropping, or devocalization (de-barking) of dogs.  Read The Article.
“After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures,” says Karen Faunt, vice president for medical quality advancement. “It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether.”



Judgmental: Veggie Conquest

August 7, 2009

When I was asked to be a judge for the first Veggie Conquest showdown in NYC on August 22nd, I had visions of myself as a TV judge like Judge Judy or Gordon Ramsey – handing out brash words of wisdom and catchy, yet condemning spitballs of criticism. “Don’t feed me mushy pasta and tell me it’s al dente,” I may accuse. Or “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”  There may also be moments where the audience believes I am going to rip someone a new one – but then after a dramatic pause I say, “This…is…the best dish here.” O, to dream. And that is why you need to enter this competition. Because you know you can make the best dish there. I know it too. So do it. The SECRET INGREDIENT will be revealed a week before the competition!

Meet the Judges for Challenge #1

http://gliving.com/avatars/Discerning-Brute-member-icons.jpgbrianprestoncampbellkathy_200

On food competition shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef, the food is so often an obnoxious cliché. Foie Gras. Lamb. Caviar. Bacon. I mean bring a book, people. How many times can you showcase diseased liver, a cuteness-icon, fish periods, and the ass of an animal that’s smarter than your dog before it gets boring?

I am so excited that there is finally a vegan food competition! I hope you will all buy your tickets for August 22nd, and  come join me in Chelsea for this landmark event as a chef or a taster. See you there!

Challenge #1
Amateur Cooking Competition
Aug. 22, 2009
Chelsea, Manhattan
Buy tickets here

Raw Creamy Zucchini Pasta

July 12, 2009

RawCreamyPasta

This raw, creamy pasta dish uses thinly-shredded squash and zucchini instead of grain-based pasta. It is amazingly delicious – and as a pasta-lover, I was happily surprised by how much I loved it!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 4):

  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 organic yellow squash
  • 2 large organic tomatoes
  • 1 organic avocado
  • 1/4 cup raw, organic cashews
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • pine nuts for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shred the zucchini & squash very thinly (using almost no pressure).
  2. In a blender, combine the avocado, tomato, and cashews. Add in the Italian seasoning, salt and Nutritional Yeast.
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the “pasta”, top with olives and pine nuts, and serve at room temperature.

Raw Fig & Pear Herb Salad w/ Cashew Cheese & Sweet Almond Vinaigrette

June 27, 2009

HerbSaladwCheeseFigPear

I am on a summer salad kick! They are so easy to make, and you really can’t go wrong. This Raw Fig & Pear Herb Salad with Cashew Cheese & Sweet Almond Vinaigrette is so satisfying that you might want to double the recipe. As always, try to buy organic and go to the farmer’s market, for crying out loud.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 2 cups of baby herb salad
  • 2 pears (of your choice)
  • 10 dried black mission figs
  • 1 wheel of Dr.Cows Aged Cashew Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbs Raw Almond Butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Chop the pear, half the figs, thinly slice the cheese, and toss with the herb salad.
  2. Pour the *Dressing on, and serve!

*DRESSING: in a cup or small bowl, mix the Apple Cider Vinegar, Almond Butter, and Agave.


Raw Kale Salad w/ Avocado & Tomato

June 18, 2009

RawKaleSalad

Most people are surprised to find out that you can eat kale, raw. This raw kale salad is hearty, filling, and delicious. It’s packed with super healthy foods that will give you enough protein, vitamins and minerals to make it to the end of the day focused and strong! I’ve been eating it for lunch a couple times a week, and it never disappoints. As always, make sure to use organic ingredients!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves 2):

  • 5 leaves (with stems) of uncooked, green kale
  • 1 large  tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • the juice of 1  fresh lime
  • 2 tbs flax meal
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • handful of cilantro
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Roll the kale leaves together into a tight scroll, longways. Starting at one end, thinly slice all of it.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the avocado.
  3. Chop the tomato & onion, add to bowl.
  4. Dice the cilantro & garlic, add to bowl.
  5. Add in the Kale and, using a fork,  mash it into the other ingredients.
  6. Pour the vinegar,  and squeeze the lime into the bowl.  Add the yeast & mix well.
  7. Top with flax meal (to make, simply put dry flax seeds in a blender)
  8. Serve and enjoy.

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