There's a way to experience even a slightly healthier existence. There's no need to commit to a 100% raw food diet. If what you're looking for is to clean things up without experiencing major detox symptoms ... here's how to do it gently ...
Almond milk truly "does a body good" ...
I'm a momma of four little vibrant children. During two of the four pregnancies, I adhered to a raw vegan diet consisting of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When I compare my raw vegan pregnancies with the others, my experience was so radically different I just need to share.
During my raw vegan pregnancies I experienced very little nausea, if at all; my energy levels soared; I gained minimal weight that later came off with ease; I had no cravings at all; and I had an overall positive sense of well being. During my "cooked" pregnancies I had incredible nausea to the point of vomiting; I craved "junk" food incessantly; I gained much more weight which was much harder to lose after pregnancy; and I generally did not enjoy being pregnancy.
What I learned over the years I was pregnant is that the cleaner I ate and the more I adhered to a raw plant food diet, the better my body responded to pregnancy. On a raw vegan diet my body eased into the changes of pregnancy, I embraced and cherished every moment and felt overwhelmed with bliss. Cooked food caused me to feel completely different while pregnant. I gained unnecessary weight, which caused me to be frustrated and I struggled with a lot of indigestion and all around discomfort. I don't have any physiological reason for my experiences. I only know, down deep inside, that what I was doing had everything to do with how I was feeling. ...
Fruit, vegetables, green leaves, nuts and seeds ... it's as simple as that ...
When I prepare meals in our home I start with fruit, vegetables, green leaves, nuts and seeds. I make these foods the focal point of each and every meal. At breakfast time most often we are enjoying a fruit based smoothie which also incorporates various types of seeds, nut milk and other energy charged, super foods! For the lunch or supper meals we often eat a vegan, partially cooked and partially raw meal (e.g.: whole grain pasta with raw vegan pesto sauce, lightly steamed broccoli, raw veggies & dip and a raw vegan Caesar salad). Snacks are usually large platters of seasonal fruit, bowls of nuts or other prepared raw vegan snacks. My kids are very happy and satisfied eating this way. I know because they always approach the dining table with eagerness and excitement. I often notice my kids dancing around while they are eating because they are so filled with joy about what they are eating. My littlest one - who's 2 years of age - will dance around while she eats avocado and she'll actually sing about avocado. It's the cutest thing to watch. Check out my video above (on the right) and you'll see (and hear) it for yourself!
Here's why I am passionate about feeding my kids what is truly healthy every day and make not compromises ...
Fats are crucial for a well balanced raw food lifestyle.
In the above video I make one of my favourite, simple raw food recipes - Raddichio Avocado Salad. It doesn't sound like much, but it truly is a wonderfully delicious salad. I think the recipe is so successful because it is so well balanced - fats, fruit and greens are perfectly proportioned. What I really love about this recipe is how very simple it is to make; all you'll need is a knife and a cutting board (and of course the ingredients themselves).
One thing I discuss quite a bit in this video is the importance of fats in a raw vegan diet. These days there's quite a bit of discussion on YouTube about the low fat approach to the raw food lifestyle. Generally, I do not like to advocate one way or the other; but lately, the low fat approach is getting so much attention it is really starting to concern me.
I've been eating raw food for the last 17 years. I've tried every approach there is to raw food - fruitarianism, low fat raw vegan, high fat raw vegan, and the balanced approach. For me, the balanced approach makes the most sense and works most successfully long term. If you're curious why I take this position ... read more here.
Wow!! Oranges galore!
Take a look in someone's refrigerator on any given day. That will tell you what makes up the large part of their diet. What you see above is a weeks' groceries for my family of 6 in the Winter months here in Canada (lots of oranges for lovely orange juice and smoothies, avocados, apples, pomegranates, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, limes, pears, pineapple, cucumbers and more ... ). I didn't even show you our freezer. In the Winter months we buy a lot of frozen organic berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and cranberries). We use these berries for our morning smoothie. Berries are a staple in our diet. And while fresh is best, we make the exception and eat frozen berries during the Winter months when we can't get them fresh or local.
Managing Your Wallet on a High Raw Diet
It is true that fruits and vegetables (especially nuts and seeds) are very costly and make eating raw/vegan an elite lifestyle. Over the years I have figured out a way to keep our refrigerator packed with fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, without us breaking the bank. I buy local organic produce when I can to support our local farmers, but also buy in grocery stores where they can order in bulk and therefore sell to the customer at cheaper prices. I also buy into rewards programs that get you free food just for shopping at a particular grocery store. Finally, we try to eat what's in season. Eating fresh strawberries in the Winter, for example, will not only guarantee you terrible tasting berries, but they will cost 3 times the regular price. If oranges are in season, eat tons of oranges. When strawberries come back in season in the Spring, you'll appreciate them that much more and they'll be affordable. All of this makes the raw food lifestyle affordable and achievable by all.
So don't think that being raw and supporting organic farmers is impossible, even on a tight budget. It can be done. You just need to think creatively and make the prices work for you.
Don't sweat it. Just buy fruits and veggies. Peace.
Challenge yourself and make a raw food dish without using electricity ...
It's funny, but, making raw food dishes often involves using some type of processing machine (whether it be a blender, food processor, or juicer). These tools use electricity to run. I was thinking about this the other day and decided to start making raw food dishes that use as little or no electricity whatsoever. Using a knife, and some other small gadgets, can actually get you quite far in making raw food dishes as long as you have a lot of creativity!
I made a beautiful mango salad in the clip above using a knife, a small lemon juicer and my two bare hands .... and it was absolutely delicious!
Conserving energy and natural resources is as easy as thinking creatively and keeping it simple. Above, I make a very simple 'sushi-like' raw food recipe (right) and a cauliflower 'rice' based dish (left) that literally took seconds to make and required no or little electricity. Both dishes came out tasting great and saved me much time and energy.
Be cognizant of our environmental predicament. Conserve energy and keep it simple. Try to reduce your carbon print, let's do it for mother earth ...
Here's what NOT to do on the raw food diet ...
Here I talk about some of the common pitfalls newcomers to the raw food lifestyle encounter. I have been eating raw food for just over 16 years. On this journey, I have made many errors and learned from them. Focusing too much on fruit, not eating enough fat, not eating enough period, eating too much, not exercising, being too stringent, are just some of them. I have learned through my own personal experience that a balanced and simple approach is the best ...
Many who learn that I am a 'raw vegan', ask without hesitation "But what do you eat?". They think I live on salads alone. But I do not. Far from it actually. While I adore salads and they are my go-to meal when I'm in a rush or just need to make something quick without thinking, I love coming up with creative and unique raw food recipes that wow! My most favourite thing to do is to make meals using exclusively raw plant food that mimic their cooked version. As you can see in the photos above, I make almost anything - from noodle bowls, to meat dishes, pasta dishes and desserts! ...
Today I have officially launched my first and very own website on the raw lifestyle and living foods cuisine! This is a true passion of mine and has been for some time. Spreading the word and sharing my passion is the only logical progression for me at this time.
This website and my diet plans have been in the making for some time now. I know it will be a journey and I hope to share that journey with like-minded individuals.
My goal here is to write about what moves and inspires me as it relates to my journey as a raw foodie and truth seeker. Look out for free raw food recipes ... and my thoughts on healing the body naturally with raw food.
... stay tuned.
looking to nature for true health
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