I have been wanting to change my diet to a completely raw diet ever since I did a juice fast in Thailand last year at The Spa Resort Koh Chang (which was the most relaxing and rejuvenating holiday I've ever had). I blogged about this experience here . After you do a big cleanse like that, you only want to put good things back into your body. But, of course, over time I have gotten back into my old habits of eating too much vegan chocolate, chips, pasta, bread and other processed nasties!
The thought of going completely raw has always been a bit daunting for me and I greatly admire anyone who has attempted it or succeeded with going raw. I often scour the sites and blogs for raw recipes for that final inspiration to make the switch but I am often left wondering how on earth any of these meals will really satisfy me.
So, going raw has been a distant dream for a while. However, 4 things have happened to me recently that make me think that I could actually do it...
1. I found an amazing raw, organic choc-hazelnut slice at Organika in Noosa. I love it so much that they now check to see if it's in stock as soon as I walk in the store. haha
2. I realized that our juicer isn't broken like we thought, so I can make lots of big, filling veggie juices.
3. I discovered young thai coconuts and try to eat one most days. Today I found a great video for raw pad thai where the 'noodles' are made out of coconut meat. Yummy.
4. Yesterday I found this awesome raw cheese made from cashews, basil, tomatoes and olives, also at Organika. It is like a cream cheese spread with a beautiful, rich flavour.
If you are wondering what the hell I am going on about and haven't heard of going 'raw' before, here is a little rundown. The whole point of going raw is that you cut out any processed or cooked foods so that you are eating whole foods that are still full of all of their nutrients. As soon as you start to cook something you are beginning to destroy the vital nutrients that it provides, so the idea is to stay clear of cooked foods as much as possible. Some people call it a 'living foods' or 'live foods' diet as all of the foods are still completely live and whole. Basically, you stick to fruit, vegetables and nuts. However, you can still make things interesting if you get a bit creative and check out what other raw foodists are doing.
Many people have made it into quite a science and have decided that a food can be heated up until a certain temperature and still be called 'raw.' There are also all sorts of gadgets such as a dehydrator that works in a similar way to baking something in an oven, but it takes longer and dehydrates the food rather than cooking it. This way it is still full of nutrients. So you can make raw crackers, raw bread, raw cookies, etc. I am not interested in purchasing new equipment or making things complicated. I would just like to try to add more raw foods to my diet and try to eat mostly raw.
Some tips to get started from Hayley at Raw Food Punk include:
What I like most about the thought of going raw is the deserts! I always find so many yummy raw desserts - it is the main meal that I am worried about.
Ani Phyo is a great raw chef that has a whole book of raw desserts. Check out this video of her making a chocolate raspberry fudge cake - it looks SO GOOD!!
Some of the sites that I like to visit for raw inspiration are: