Avocado, Fennel, and Cherry Tomato Salad — And a Rejoinder

by Gena on June 10, 2009

salad2

I’m sometimes hesitant to put salad recipes up on the blog; for one thing, everyone seems to have their own salad recipes that they favor at lunch and dinnertime; for another, I like to dispel idea that all raw foodists eat are salads. It’s true that I could probably feast on salad three times a day and be happy doing it, but raw food has much more to offer in the way of culinary inventiveness than salad alone.

This said, salads are pretty darn good. And now that summer has officially arrived (well, in theory: New York is still a bit chilly), it’s the time to experiment with new and delicious variations!

This recipe is among my top five salad creations. It’s hopelessly good. The avocado and sweet balsamic vinegar add richness to the salad, but the flavors are distinctively summery, especially with the addition of fresh fennel (which can be an autumnal vegetable, too, but begins to appear in farmers’ markets right about now). This weekend, I was lucky enough to find a head of fresh fennel at my local market, along with the giant heads of lettuce that I associate gleefully with early June. I knew it was time to make this salad, and I’m so glad I did!

Fennel, Avocado, and Cherry Tomato Salad (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

3-4 cups fresh romaine, mesclun greens, spinach, or red leaf lettuce
½ avocado, cut into chunks
½ medium head fennel, sliced thin
½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
10 or so basil leaves, chopped
Drizzle of agave or sprinkle of stevia (if desired; the salad is already quite sweet)
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together. I find that mixing with my hands distributes the creamy avocado and helps to merge the flavors together. You may want to add a drizzle of oil, but the avocado should give the salad all of the richness it needs. Add as much balsamic as you need or like.

Here’s the final creation:

salad1

salad3

I hope you can enjoy this all throughout the summer months!

Switching topics, a quick word about some rumblings in the blogosphere yesterday. My friend, miss Gliding Calm, wrote an honest post expressing her feelings about soy its place in her diet. Another friend, Chocolate Covered Katie, responded with an equally honest and fair-minded post about her own feelings on soy, as well as a benediction to her readers not to feel unduly pressured to go raw or soy-free. Many of the comments in response to her post were as articulate and balanced as Katie’s own post was. A few, though, had some unkind things to say about raw foods in general and about my blog in particular; two (subsequently removed) directly attacked my physical appearance and accused me of encouraging a malnourished readership.

OK. I think it goes without saying—and my readers are aware—that nothing could be further from the truth. I do my best to encourage a guilt-free relationship with food (as my post on fats should have demonstrated) and to encourage personal choice (as my last post made abundantly clear). I do occasionally share my own viewpoint on certain matters of nutrition, but when I do, I try to present a balanced perspective. One of the rejoinders to the anti-soy perspective that’s being proffered right now is that Asian populations have eaten it for generations and enjoyed long life spans; this is a point that I made verbatim at the top of my own post on soy. And that’s before I went on to state explicitly that, in spite of my own ambivalence about it, I believe that there is a moderate place for unprocessed soy in any healthy diet. I’m not sure which raw blogs were “holier-than-thou” or responsible for making people feel lousy— in my experience, most raw bloggers are a very kind and welcoming bunch!—but it goes without saying that I frown on that kind of behavior.

There are lots of food blogs out there. Each of us has a unique perspective to share. Mine is the perspective of someone who won’t, and doesn’t, eat any processed food, and who chooses to consume an entirely plant based and mostly raw diet. I started this blog to share that viewpoint with the blogging community, but not with the intention of forcing it upon anyone; as I’ve said many a time, I don’t believe that a mostly or all raw diet is for everyone. I do believe, though, that most of us can experience joy and energy by eating more raw and unprocessed food. And I believe that some people with chronic health conditions can find relief from their afflictions by eating more raw and unprocessed food (that’s more; not all, or even mostly).

I’m passionate about this belief. I like to think that it’s my passion that keeps you guys reading. It’s certainly what keeps me writing. So I’m not going to diminish my ardor about raw foods, or change my perspective, to be more palatable. If I did, the spirit that animates this blog would be totally lost. I do promise that I will always give you a balanced viewpoint and that I will always respect that what works for some does not work for others; this is a point I’ve made time and time again.

My perspective on food is not mainstream. Raw veganism is a very particular kind of lifestyle, and even though it’s growing in popularity, it remains outside of the normative model of of eating and living. I’m here to show my readers that elements of the raw and vegan lifestyles can be enjoyed by anyone who’s interested, and to give those interested folks tips and encouragement. If you’re not interested in being raw and want a more inclusive diet, there are hundreds of food blogs out there that will help you. Many of those bloggers are friends, and I encourage you to check out my blogroll for a sampling of their work! If raw foods turn you off, there’s no reason for you to read my blog; I’m not looking to make converts, and there are numerous paradigms of healthy eating available to you that aren’t raw.

For those of you who are rawcurious, keep reading! You know I love having you here, and I’ll keep doing my best to encourage and inspire you as best I can.

Have a great day!

xo

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin June 10, 2009 at 8:23 am

I love your salad recipes. Salads are so delicious and versatile and I love seeing new options.
I love your blog, and its a huge inspiration in my rawcurious adventures. I’m glad you present such an even handed approach and can’t imagine why anyone would speak poorly of your blog or you. Please keep doing what you do!

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Erin — thanks a million :)

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valerie June 10, 2009 at 8:25 am

I really like this post. I think that there is still so much stigma and judgment against any type of eating that does not adhere to the American mainstream diet. I have been to several restaurants that will not even accommodate veggie eating or they think that it is okay to serve meat on top of or next to veggie food. I think your blog is great and while I know I cannot mirror your eating habits (for one I train in martial arts several times a week, and two I come from an Asian background where the staple foods are rice and soy protein and I kinda love carbs) I am learning a lot. I have one question, how to do you get enough carbs from a high raw diet, esp if you are burning 500-1000 calories per day.

Thanks!
Valerie

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Hi Valerie,

I get carbs from vegetable juice, vegetables themselves, and root veggies. Thank you for a kind and supportive comment!

Gena

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Cindy June 10, 2009 at 8:25 am

Sorry you had some negative feedback.

I love your blog because of it’s (of course) education and inspiration for raw and vegan cuisine (i’ve already added your salad recipe to my “to do list”)

and I (and sure many many others) are not only motivated to experiment, learn and grow in part due to your blog articles but better off for it!

and yes, you have always been very VERY vocal about each of us finding our own way
and THANK YOU

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Katherine June 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

Thank you for providing such a thoughtful response to the grumblings that seemed to be circulating yesterday! I’m so glad you are going to continue to share your passionate, intelligent voice with readers – I have learned so much for your blog, and enjoyed becoming involved in a community of health-conscious readers of all “dietary pursuasions” – thanks!!

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Interested in Raw June 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

I echo Erin’s comment. I really have loved and used your blog as I continue to find out more about this raw food journey. This is the first time I have found a “diet” that has really been all about the journey and discovery for me. I feel better about myself and my choices every single day and your blog was the single biggest factor in pushing me towards this journey so THANKS and keep it up!

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VeggieGirl June 10, 2009 at 8:31 am

I love your recipes (that salad is begging for some of your guacamole!! haha :-D ), love your insight, love your support, and love your compassion. SHAME ON FOLKS for attacking you and for being incredibly close-minded. SHAME!!

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

xoxo

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Chocolate Covered Katie June 10, 2009 at 8:41 am

Gena, you seriously have such a sweet spirit! The blogworld is blessed to have you!

Expect an email from me soon :).

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Ditto to that, CCV!!

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Mara @ What's for Dinner? June 10, 2009 at 8:46 am

Beautiful salad and a beautiful post! I’ll be emailing you re: guest dinner soon!

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Lauren June 10, 2009 at 8:53 am

Love that salad! I could eat salad every night (and sometimes do, hence why my blog tends to bore people..lol).

Great response, Gena, your right on! AMEN!

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Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) June 10, 2009 at 8:54 am

I know you are strong and confident enough to not let a few negative comments distract you from the dozens and dozens of people who leave you supportive comments everyday.

I think you are great!

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Maria June 10, 2009 at 9:00 am

Gena, I love that you always stick to what you believe and are open-minded about other people’s beliefs! I’m sorry to hear that you had to deal with some animosity in the blogosphere.

That salad seems is so beautiful with all the various flavors mixed in. I’ve never tried fennel before, but always wanted to try it. Maybe this salad is a good place to start :D

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Maria –

Try it! Lots of people find fennel too strong, but I find that the sweetness here cuts the licorice flavor.

G

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Nancy June 10, 2009 at 9:03 am

Hi Gena! First off, the salad looks YUUUMY! I, too, can’t see a happy life without the presence of an almost daily salad and sometimes two. I think that I always have some fennel in my fridge. It’s tasty, but also a great digestive aid. I must give this salad a try!!! Thanks!
Second, I am so, so sorry for you in that it seems you are being “picked” on about your eating style and body image. I find it rude, crude, and total BS. Heavy people are teased. Skinny people have comments made about them. Who the hell is the god that says what is the right happy medium and what is the right weight for any one person? Last year, I had a very serious surgery . As a result, my body doesn’t absorb everything that I eat. I lost about 30 lbs, through no fault of my own. Unfortunately, this lead to a second surgery 6 months later. Do I look too thin? Yes, I do. That’s why I’m spending the week at Mt. Sinai Hospital going for tests. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been called anorexic, bulimic, or told “You know what you need??? A good, sloppy steak and cheese sandwich!!! When the hell are you going to eat and put some weight on??”. Might I mention that these words are coming from the same people who knew of my surgeries and their severity. I guess, I’m saying people are flat out unkind and mean spirited. As I said before, I for one, think that you look great, healthy, and fit. Screw anyone who says otherwise!
I suppose that having strong opinions and voicing them in a blog opens you up to criticism. But MY GOD aren’t there bigger issues in this world than “To Eat Tofu or To Not Eat Tofu” or “How Many Avocados is Too Many???”. To be so attacked over your choice of food is simply outrageous. I thought that this blogging community was about sharing ideas, inspiration, creativity, and giving SUPPORT to those who are following shared lifestyle endevours. As for myself, that is why I have a growing interest in what everyone out there is saying. I may not agree with what someone says about a particular eating style or like a particular recipe that was posted. OK. Fine. So, I don’t eat that recipe and I live my life as I see fit for myself. I don’t think that I need to be so judgemental and hurtful as a response to another view point. That would be a big egotisically, no??
Gena, please continue to write and share. Because for every critical person out there, you have a ton of readers who enjoy your posts and look forward to what the next one might hold!

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Thank you for such an impassioned and encouraging comment, Nancy!!

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Kristen's Raw June 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Your salad sounds amazing… as I sit in the hotel room a block away from you I’m salivating and wish I had some to eat right now. Unfortunately, I’m not tired so I can’t sleep away my growling tummy – haha. So, I will endure with water and look forward to all the goodies I have in store for me tomorrow in the city.

I’m sorry you had to experience any bullshit regarding your blog or personal appearance. It seems to be growing in the blogosphere and it’s quite sad. On the other hand, obviously the raw fooders and vegans are touching upon the nerves of some people and that can’t be all that bad. ;)

I love your blog. I love your attitude and approach. I love you! Keep up the amazing work!

Cheers,
Kristen

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

And K, I just adore EVERYTHING about you! I’ll text you tomorrow! Hope you’ve had a nice day :)

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earthmother June 10, 2009 at 9:13 am

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. ~ Nietzsche

When I first began transitioning to raw living foods and tapped into the raw cyber community, ohmygosh, my head was spinning — 100% raw, high raw, 80-10-10, 811rv (which I later discovered is just another name for 80-10-10), calorie restriction, superfoods, juice feasting — Holy Guacamole!

My solution: I decided to do something I had never done before in my life – listen to and take cues from my own body. I try to convey that approach on my own site, and it’s one of the reasons I resonate so strongly with what you write here, Gena. Thank you for presenting a very well-researched and balanced perspective. This reader appreciates it immensely.

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Big hug to you, Earthmother!

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Marlena Torres June 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

As usual, beautiful post, Gena. Your blog is amazing, unbiased, and educational! Keep on writing woman! :)

Also- lovely salad! I cannot wait to try it! I just made a soup with fennel yesterday, it is one of my favorite vegetables!

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Cecilia June 10, 2009 at 9:25 am

You know how much I love your posts Gena, don’t let those nasty commenters get you down! <3

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rhodeygirl June 10, 2009 at 9:27 am

I love your writing style.

That salad looks delicious, and please keep up the salad recipes. I think that more than the exact combination of vegetables you remind me of different veggies that I have forgotten about- for example FENNEL! When it was in season growing up my mom would make an all fennel salad with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. I miss that salad and fennel but now you’ve reminded me! Thanks!

About the second half of your post…. what is so special about your blog in particular (in my opinion) is that you take a topic that is not mainstream at all and present it to a more mainstream audience in a way that is both informative and thought-provoking. I also like that you always present different options… it reminds me of my AFAA course when they teach you to teach a beginner, intermediate, and advanced version of each movement. I am thankful to your blog specifically for teaching me how to incorporate some great parts about the raw movement without having to go completely raw or vegan. Thank you!

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Melissa (fitnessnyc) June 10, 2009 at 9:27 am

great post, I just threw out the rest of this gross processed bar I was eating, I am not even hungry and I am going to lunch in an hour,totally mindless. Time to refill my lemon water!

The salad photos or gorgeous, even though I HATE fennel more than most any other food I can think of. At least that has always kept me as far away from sausage as I can be.

xoxo girly, you are a total inspiration. Now what to do with the economy-size costco purchased pack of bocas that trev bought for the roof party (not per my request) and like one person ate? lol

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Metta June 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

I just LOVE you!

“Love is the only thing bigger than everything.” Mary Delaney
You come from a place of love, and with that no matter what others may say love always outshines. You are a light in this world that shines brightly, and that is why you are so successful. (I was going to quote a Bible verse here, but wasn’t sure if that would be appropriate)

Also, I love fennel, and I can’t wait to try this salad.

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Laura June 10, 2009 at 10:06 am

Your blog is smart, fun, and balanced. Our world is so toxic that it’s sometimes hard to confront the magnitude of change we could make. So I understand how raw food blogs can make people uncomfortable and guilty. I’ve felt that way (but not from your blog!). Kudos to you for standing up straight and speaking your truth. We could use a lot more Genas out there.

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Aw. Thanks Laura!

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zucchini breath June 10, 2009 at 10:17 am

I love your blog. Don’t listen to a few meat eating trolls. The cholesterol, antibiotics and pesticides affect their thinking.
:)

Cheers to you!

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Anneliese June 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

Hi Gena!
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but I haven’t commented yet. I just wanted to say that I really love your blog! It’s full of information and you always present things from a balanced perspective. I feel like I’ve learned so much from you and have definitely used ideas from your blog to incorporate more whole, raw foods into my diet. Thanks so much for being an inspiration to me and so many others!!

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Thanks Anneliese! I always love when lurkers say hi :)

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rachey June 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

Gena, your blog is literally my new favorite!! I have been so excited about every post. Your writing style is so calm, collected, and logical… and the way you explain finding one’s own ideal diet makes more sense to me than anything I’ve ever read. I could go on about how happy I am with my dietary changes and how great I feel physically/emotionally, but I’d honestly rather just let you know that you have an incredibly positive impact, and I have never read anything on your blog to warrant an attack on you. Seriously, choosing raw is the only raw resource that has made me want to go raw for positive reasons (listen to your body/feel good) rather than negative (lose weight/cut out [insert food] from diet). keep on keepin on girl- you are the prime example of a raw blog done right!!

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Shelby June 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

Keep on rocking your raw lifestyle Gena, I think you are amazing! As long as your healthy and happy, that’s all that matters =)

xoxo

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Vegan Woman June 10, 2009 at 10:41 am

Thanks for the post, I am always looking for ways to add fennel. The pictures look delicious!

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Elisabeth June 10, 2009 at 10:51 am

I read Katie’s post, as well as the rude comments as they unfolded. I was actually really surprised to see that people were specifically singling YOU out. I have read many raw food blogs, and there are some that have stricken me as off-putting, coming from an average person eating an average (albeit healthy, and heavy in raw foods) diet.

However, those are the blogs that I don’t follow or read. I have enjoyed your blog for the past few months because your approach to the raw food diet is completely not intimidating. You come across as a nice person, non-threatening, non-assuming, and you seem to genuinely care about how the things you “say” are making others feel. Thus, I have never, ever, felt as though you think you’re better than those who don’t eat all raw.

If I did, I wouldn’t read.

Through your posts, you have actually encouraged me to explore more raw food options.

You are beautiful, and your intention is to help others. I feel sorry for the blog-lurkers out there who feel the need to put other people down like that in such an immature, judgmental way. If they don’t like what you post, they shouldn’t read.

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I feel sorry, too, Elisabeth. Thanks for this good comment :)

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AlliJag June 10, 2009 at 11:31 am

You are quite eloquent! :) Loved the post, love your view point and your acceptance of the fact everyone has their owns views. No matter how open you are – there will always be “nay-sayers” and you are doing the right thing by taking the high road! :)

LOVE that salad – that looks heavenly – I think you are on to something with this “hand mixing” business :)

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Jane June 10, 2009 at 11:31 am

first of all, i love the word “rawcurious” it cracks me up (in a good way).

second of all, great post. not just because you make a lot of good points and clarify your opinions well, but also cause you have a great writing style! as a soon-to-be creative writing student, i’m loving how clear and concise your post are; how they convey exactly what you need to say without rambling on, confusing the reader, or circling around the issue. you should totally write a book, girl!

third of all, i really appreciate your perspective that people can benefit from adding MORE raw foods to their diet, even if they don’t go 100% raw. that really speaks to me as an athlete and high metabolism-ed (uh not a word i know) person who MAY (or maybe not) find it hard to eat enough raw foods to keep myself fueled. that being said, i certainly could benefit from juicing, and adding more raw produce to some carb heavy meals.

don’t worry there is no fourth of all. unless you count this last sentence saying i love your blog and look forward to reading it in the future!

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Ashley June 10, 2009 at 11:41 am

I’m really happy that you addressed the comments from yesterday’s posts. I watched them unfold and I was absolutly shocked. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog from Day 1 and couldn’t believe some of the comments that people wrote. As someone who still eats meat from time to time, I find your approach to the raw food world enlightening and incredibly enjoyable to read.

And I enjoy a new salad recipe from time to time! I can get stuck on the same combinations and it’s nice to freshen things up!

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Gena June 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Thanks so much Ashley!

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Anne June 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

I just added found your blog and added it to my Google Reader; in particularly because you are so non-judgmental, so open, and I feel inspired to eat more raw food, not guilty because I don’t eat more already.

Just wanted to say that, to counterbalance those negative remarks. I am so sorry, and I cannot think why anyone would talk negatively about your blog. Maybe their own insecurity? I hope you don’t let them get to you!

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) June 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Gena,
I could totally eat salads for every meal and be happy…I would just need to throw a little almond butter on one of them. Love this salad recipe, and I’ll definitely be trying it soon. I fee like your recipe stalker. :)

As far as any negative comments directed at your blog goes, you have never once tried to force a vegan or high raw diet on any of your readers of judged others for the way they eat. That’s what I love about Choosing Raw. You share (with love) the dietary lifestyle you have chosen for yourself, and you are completely open and honest about it. I don’t eat a raw diet, or even a vegan one for that matter, but I know I will always find good advice here on incorporating more raw veggies into my diet, and what on earth is wrong with that? We could all use a little more green in our lives, don’t you think?

Love you Gena, and keep up the good work! Your blog is awesome.

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:54 am

As always, Heather, thanks, and love back!

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The Veg Next Door June 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

A few things:

– the salad looks delish. My 2.5-year-old daughter and I just finished off the fennel this afternoon. Wish I could have saved some for dinner b/c I love fennel in salads
– shame on people for being rude; and
– your style of writing just rocks. If I wrote this post it would have come off sounding defensive but you’re articulate and insightful. Your blog is one of my top five and I visit everyday b/c it’s so worth it.

All the best and warm wishes.

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:54 am

Thanks so much. I hope you try the salad!

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Emily June 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hey gorgeous Gena,

Maybe people are not reacting to you, but merely the mirror you hold up to them? Overall, many of these reflections seem to be positive which can only mean that so many of your readers (no matter what makes up their personal diets) are happy with themselves. Needless to say, that is a wonderful audience to attract!

Thank you for sharing another recipe ~ fennel is in season here too at the moment, so this is one I can put together while still on this side of the planet!

Best wishes for a lovely day,
em x

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:55 am

Thanks dear Em!! <3

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anne June 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I would agree with HEAB comment above. I don’t eat a raw or vegan diet but I appreciate all of your suggestions and recipes! Keep it up!

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marina June 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

i think anyone who was offended by your soy post was either looking to be offended or extremely insecure, or both. no sweat on your part, your post was informative and objective.

the salad recipe sounds great, i think i’ll have to try that today :)

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Justine June 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I love salad recipes! They’re always welcome as far as I’m concerned. :)

I’m glad you aren’t letting the negativity get to you – your blog is amazing, and you shouldn’t have to defend the way you choose to live & eat.

I am trying to cut out soy for good. I keep going several days without it, but it’s not easy as a vegan…so I’m working on that still. It makes me feel awful though, it makes me feel very congested and have stomach problems (poor digestion) even days after. And I keep waking up with headaches, which I think soy is to blame as my diet is pretty “clean” otherwise!

I’m wondering though, how often do you eat grains (sprouted or cooked)? I need to cut back on those too somewhat. And when you do eat grain products, what do you use them for?

Thanks so much :)
Justine

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:56 am

Good for you with the soy!

I eat grains infrequently — I tend to want them, and eat them, when I’m running more than usual or when I’ve had a long day of light eats and want something filling. I stick mostly to quinoa or millet. I’d say I eat them once or twice a month, depending.

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Kat June 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Gena–
I will echo the other comments–I keep coming back to your blog for inspiration. I don’t think that I would have decided to eat completely raw for a week if it weren’t for you. Although I’ve been vegan for a little over a year now, eating raw seemed like a daunting task, until I began reading your blog. Now, in my seventh day of raw, I wish to continue for a few days more (to try the fennel salad, for one)–I feel really great, and keep learning so many new things about vegetables, it’s simply too exciting to stop. Thank you!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:56 am

WOW! Congrats on your 7th day of raw!

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Gliding Calm June 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I agree with Heather Eats Almond Butter. People are really cruel and hurtful sometimes, and I guess it just comes with the (blogging) job.

I love reading, love your recipes, and love learning and getting new ideas.

Thanks for the shout out, G!

Take care and have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday!

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Stacie June 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I just posted on CCV’s blog this same thing–your blog and hers are two of my favorites! I read them even when I don’t have time for any others. I love you both and hope you both keep on just as you are.

Thanks,

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:58 am

Thanks Stacie! She and I <3 you!

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SweetKaroline June 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Rawcurious=Me :)

Don’t let the haters get to you!

You are a wonderful, inspirational person who has a lot to give this blogging community and the raw food lifestyle!

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faith June 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm

hey gena!! i am finally back in the blog world and started off with a RAW DAY!!! i also finally got a juicer and i busted it out today so fast and just start pushing carrots and celery through before i even cleaned up the box mess :p I LOVE IT! i am so glad you had a good bday and jealous of all your NY eats and opportunities, everythng in the south is fry fry fry! we need to email some i have some questions! thank you so much for all you do!

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Hangry Pants June 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm

(1) I realized just now that I love reading your blog because it never contains any gramatical or spelling errors!

(2) I am not sure what compels people to personally attack other blogers. All you’ve ever done is share your thoughts about your passion!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:59 am

Ohhh, Heather. There is nothing I love more than compliments on my grammar :)

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Kristin June 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I hate that people are saying mean things! You definitely don’t deserve it. You’re one of the most open and honest food bloggers I read, and you do a great job at keeping the conversation going! I love that you respond to most of your comments and seem to really enjoy going back and forth with your readers.

I’m so glad I found your blog because while I was dubious, I have since learned to truly appreciate your diet. Your blog is def in my top five food blogs that I read daily, and I’m not even raw or vegan. Thanks for inspiring me and opening my eyes to new things! :)

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:59 am

Glad I inspire you, Kristin!

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kath June 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Beautiful salad and beautifully written post!

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Frugal Babe June 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm

I just came across your blog last week, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I’m vegetarian, gradually shifting to vegan, and I eat about 50% raw. People sometimes tell me that I’m too thin, but I’ve learned to ignore them. (I can do a lot more pull ups and push ups than they can!) I feel great, never get sick, and love the way I eat. I think that it’s usually the people who are most insecure about their own bodies (and probably a bit overweight and out of shape) who are the quickest to criticize people who really work hard at maintaining their health via diet and exercise. While I’m not planning to go 100% raw, I love blogs like yours for inspiration and ideas. Please keep it up!!

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Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) June 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I’m still relatively new to the blogging scene, but it seems like if people don’t agree with what other people think and are writing about they would stop reading?!?!? I don’t know, maybe its just me! I appreciate all of your raw recipes and information even though I’m not 100% raw!

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Naptress June 10, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I luv your blog!…I have even gone back through your archive and have been so inspired in my RAW/living food eating!…please stop by and check out my blog http://supasolsista.blogspot.com
and you know the longer you have a blog it becomes inevitable that there will be “haters”…I will offer to them a very succinct “fcuk em” lol

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Casey June 10, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Gena gorgeous, you are one of the best bloggers I’ve ever had the fortune to come across. You are so open minded, honest, flexible and supportive of all walks of life without compromising your values for your personal life and personal choices. Who could ask for more?

Keep up your informative and insightful posts my love, as I know you will.

Much love and….great post!!! :)

Case x

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 5:00 am

Thanks, beautiful :)

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Erin June 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Your salad will be my salad tomorrow. No question.
I have never felt that your blog was pushy or put undue pressure on anyone. I’ve learned so much from you and am really, truly grateful that I’ve met you in this way. I think your approach and method of linking different types of eating habits together is fabulous! Comments about ANYONE’S appearance are unwarranted and it’s just distasteful and wrong. I’m sorry to hear that people were quick to judge. You look radiant.
In any case! I just love your bloggity and hope you keep doing exactly what you do.

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Frankie June 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Why is it “okay” to brag about eating McDonalds ever day, but not okay to follow a vegan / raw / microbiotic diet? I’m sorry, we are one “effed”-up society.

I don’t know if this was covered in the soy post or responses but traditionally, soy has been a condiment NOT a big slab like the (eewwww) giant cut of beef served at a ranch. Western society expects the “protein” to be a giant centerpiece of the meal, not so with soy. So yes, soy has been used in the past to no ill effect BUT it was not so processed / genetically modified or found in milk, the main course, dessert, condiments, etc. all at once.

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Briana in Tucson June 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I love this blog. Period. Please don’t let a few bad apples in the blogosphere get you down, Gena. I think you do a fantastic job of presenting information in a nonjudgmental, balanced, friendly, and very informed manner. In fact, I’ve never come across another blog that does such a good job on all of those fronts.

To all of those people out there who, for some reason, feel that they need to attack ideas (and people) that they don’t agree with, I would like to say one thing: if you really feel the need to speak up on a subject, please remember that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

I think you’re doing a great job, Gena. And even if you happen to write something that I disagree with (even though that hasn’t happened yet), I will continue to be one of your biggest fans and cheerleaders.

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 5:00 am

As usual, Briana, thank you.

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JamesD June 11, 2009 at 12:28 am

Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

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Virginia June 11, 2009 at 4:41 am

Great salad, I will definitely be making it soon…do you add a sliced onion in there too? (based on the picture)?

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Virginia June 11, 2009 at 4:42 am

oh, thats the fennel, nevermind!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 5:00 am

V —

Yes, fennel — I HATE onion!!!

G

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Michelle @ Find Your Balance June 11, 2009 at 7:06 am

I find you very balanced. Some raw foodies won’t even look at my blog bc I’m not 100% raw. But I love all kinds of healthy food and raw is a big part of that! Keep on sharing what you believe in. Your open mind and heart are evident, to me at least!

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Diana (Soap & Chocolate) June 11, 2009 at 8:18 am

I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to hear that you’d been personally attacked. Of ALL people, seriously?! Actually, I had read Gliding Calm AND CCV and your posts all yesterday, but waited til today to respond because I wanted to look again and page through some of the comments. It’s such a shame that what should be one of life’s joys causes such drama. Unfortunately, food and diets have become very emotional and dramatic in our society and I see that coming through here.

You know by now that I’m among your biggest fans (and you have many), despite not being a raw foodist myself. However, it is EXACTLY your passion that made your blog an instant favorite of mine and it DOES keep me coming back. The fact that it’s well-written, well-researched passion helps too. :) So yes, you have succeeded on that front, and anyone who reads this blog every day will agree. I may never become a raw foodist, may never follow any -ism, and that’s fine, but I would love for whatever my own customized “-ismosity” to be as well-researched and impassioned as yours! That’s why I read your blog for inspiration, as well as those of other bloggers who love life living (and eating) the way they do.

Needless to say, this whole issue has made me very self-conscious of my own blogging responsibility, and I appreciate CCV’s reminder that while we absolutely have the right to our own opinions, we are also publishing those opinions for the free consumption of other impressionable people. It’s important to me to both follow my own passion, while keeping my readers (known and unknown) in mind. You do a great job with that, IMHO.

Many blugs to you (blog hugs).

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

D —

It goes without saying that I am sending you giant blugs back! I also love the term “ismosity.” :-D

Gena xoxo

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gina (fitnessista) June 11, 2009 at 8:45 am

the negativity in blogworld lately has been out of control. i’m so sorry to hear the hurtful things were said, especially since i know what a BEAUTIFUL, BRILLIANT, HEALTHY and incredible girl you are. want me to fight anyone?? haha
just keep doing what you’re doing. you know we all love you :D

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Gina,

So nice to know we have each other’s backs. Always!

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elise June 11, 2009 at 9:10 am

im not a big fennel fan, but i think avo can make anything tasty, so maybe ill try this soon!

this blogger drama is craaaaaaaazy! way to stand up for yourself, and post what you believe with the passion you feel. i think sometimes we all foreget that we are talking about humans, and we all have differing opinions, and rather than condemn each other for these differences, we should CELBRATE them! how else would we all know about new and exciting foods and recipes. experimentation is the spice of life :)

love you gena!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Oh, so sweet — love you too, Ms. Elise!!

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Katharina June 11, 2009 at 9:17 am

Hey Gena!

I think it’s a shame that people make harsh assumptions about others based on appearance alone. I know for me, since I’m petite and thin I hear and sometimes even feel that judgment that runs through others’ minds. But I guess that’s apart of human nature. Don’t worry girl a lot of people appreciate your passion and perspective about the raw lifestyle and health. Part of life is about listening and learning from what other people have to say.

p.s. today I tried your recent cauliflower and carrot salad. I changed it around some, but just thought you’d like to know that I LOVED it!!! The golden raisins are an unexpected delicious ingredient.

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

So glad you liked the salad, Katharina!! And thanks.

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Janie June 11, 2009 at 11:18 am

Gena-

I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted before, but I adore your blog. I, up until recently thought the idea of raw food was disgusting. I’ve been a reader of Eat,Live,Run for a very long time now and I heard about your blog when you and Jenna did the raw foods challenge. I didn’t join in the challenge, but I’ve been really enjoying reading through your blog and trying some of your recipes. I think you are a great writer and very open and honest about your lifestyle. I have totally changed my opinion of raw foods because of you. I definitely don’t think you are pushing your ideas onto others in any way, that’s why I was so attracted to your blog, it is not pushy at all, but very informative. I also love how you recommend to start simple. You seem like such an open person and it’s very obvious that you truly care about your readers. Thank you for all the time and thought that you put into your writing. Most of us really appreciate it!!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Aw, Janie, thank you for such a lovely comment! I appreciate it.

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The Veg Next Door June 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I should clarify that what I mean by “lifestyle” is food choices.

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The Veg Next Door June 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Oh Gena, even when you delete a comment you’re polite and thoughtful in your reasoning. :-)

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Emily June 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Gena! :-)

I appreciate your post and the fact that you acknowledge that eating solely raw is not for everyone and is a great option for those suffering from chronic health conditions. I also like all the recipes you post for the rest of us who might be looking to add some raw food into our diets.

Thanks!

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Anytime, Emily! I love your blog.

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Heather June 15, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Gena, I’m just catching up on my Google Reader and came across this post (as well as a few others) and just wanted to offer a reminder that you are FANTASTIC and this blog is an amazing resource to so many people, myself included. My personal opinion of soy has changed a bit after reading about this blog and some other books about raw foods, but it isn’t because I feel I am being brainwashed or coerced or anything like that. For me, personally, it has just connected the dots that certain foods that I love are causing my tummy some pain. Regardless of that, it’s ridiculous that people would choose to pick on your lifestyle or appearance. People are overly critical, that’s for sure. You provide the blogworld with a refreshing, eye-opening approach and while some might not agree with all of your views, I think everyone can learn something here. I’m sorry that people have to be so negative, but just wanted to throw another “you’re fantastic!” comment here. Take care!

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Bethany July 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Hi Gena,

I just wanted to say, WOW, this salad is AMAZING!!! My husband and I just had it for dinner and we both LOVED it. So flavorful, hearty, and delicious! Thanks so much for an easy and luscious dinner! I can’t wait to have more for lunch tomorrow :)

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Lillian June 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I’ve got a “bone” to pick about this one. Actually, leafy greens are perfectly wonderful sources of calcium and vitamin D. Here’s one allopathic source (there are lots of others):

http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/leafy

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Lillian June 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm

O wait- still another “bone” to pick- this time from the National Institute of Health.

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp

It says:

“Most people meet their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight.”

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The Veg Next Door June 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I was going to respond to the comment left by Katie but it seems to be gone or I missed it. In any case, what’s wrong with eating nutrient-dense meals such as salads? Gena’s lifestyle is far better than the typical American and it’s less of a strain on the healthcare system. I think people need to re-evaluate where ideas regarding food and health come from and then can make educated decisions about the food we eat.

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Gena June 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Hey darlin’ —

I deleted the comment because it was neither informative, accurate, facilitating of good discussion, nor kind. But I really appreciate your response!!

Gena

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