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12 January 2010

Real World Lessons

Thank you for all the comments on the Raw Food way of life that I started at the end of last year.  I thought I would take some time to answer some questions:

1.  To the left is the book that got me started.  It's really a gourmet raw food cookbook, but the authors took the time to research the science behind the Raw Food lifestyle.  In that it was great.  Practically, I can't find most of the ingredients that are listed (although the book has a great resource index at the back), but I am sure that once we move back to the land of fruits and nuts that is Northern California I know we will have a coop nearby and a ton of fresh locally grown produce from the farmer's markets.

2.  No, I don't eat raw meat.  We're not eating any animals at this time.  We are doing about 85% raw at this time because I can't quite give up cheese (Wisconsin raw Monterey Jack, yum) and my hubby needs his cream for his coffee (definitely not raw on both accounts) not to mention we will occasionally eat eggs (soon to be our own;  home-grown from our own chickens).

3.  The best website I have found is this one by Esme Stevens which has a lot of practical advice for newbies.  I also consult the Raw Food Community site and also the Raw Way site.  There are tons of other sites out there for recipe ideas.  Also, I have been collecting some site for finding deals on many of the staples:  nuts, dehydrators, etc.

4.  What do I miss?  At this point over 2 months into it, seriously not much.  I always said I couldn't be a vegetarian because I couldn't give up ribeyes.  Now they don't taste the same (not to mention the assault on my GI system).  Bread - almost like I can taste the processing.  Pasta - it just doesn't have a fresh taste.  There's something about the crisp clean crunchy taste of fresh foods.  After this time, some days I am starving for a big salad, other days I just want a shake.  We've learned to be very creative with different ingredients.  Oh, but I do miss warm things... you're not allowed to cook anything.  But I have popped my Manna bread into the dehydrator from time to time.

5.  How can you go out?  You get creative.  I've eaten a lot of salads with oil and vinegar.  I have eaten grilled vegetables.  And, I allow myself one meal a week that is not completely raw.  I talked on my last blog post about some of the foods I enjoy.  I recently went on a trip to Phoenix for a medical conference and took my bag of dried fruit and nuts for snacks.  I was able to pick appropriate foods, and one night I indulged in some awesome soft corn carne asada tacos .

6.  "I don't know how you do it" - I don't know either, but it took a lot of discipline.  The first week was the hardest.  It does take a certain amount of prep time to get everything together.  You go to the grocery store more often, and spend a little more money, because everything is fresh.  But, after the first week of drinking water instead of Diet Coke, skipping the grill and heading to the salad bar at work, bypassing all my favorite fast food and take out places, I started to feel better.  I noticed I was sleeping better, felt more rested when I woke up, and didn't have a mid-afternoon post-lunch sleepy feeling.  Not to mention the weight loss benefits I talked about before.  Now, I am adding some exercise to my routine keeping the idea of running a five K and wearing a swimsuit by summertime as a goal to achieve.

Not that I expect to convert everyone to the Raw Food lifestyle, in fact the authors of the Raw Food Raw World book have a goal of 80% raw for most people, but I do hope this has helped to encourage you to make some lifestyle changes that will keep you out of my E.D. :) Not to mention help keep you around as my friends for just a little longer.  An easy way to get into a healthier way of eating is to do the "Pledge to be Veg" which I did last year, and which really got me thinking about what I was eating.  Good luck!

p.s. for those on Facebook, these notes are imported from my blogsite:


Claudia's thoughts said...

I like vegetables, but somehow, I do not think that I would go and eat a lot of things raw....I am trying to increase my fiber and decrease my fats. I am also eating red meat about two to three times a month. I Am cooking things from the American Heart Association Cookbook. They have a lot of good recipes....

I hope to include EXERCISE (boo hoo) in that mix. But honestly, I would rather go walk outside than on that damn treadmill.

That corgi :) said...

it does sound good, Veronica. I think it would take the commitment of, of course, all in the family and I'm not sure how it would fly with my hubby nor can I imagine trying to prepare 2 meals (not that I cook, but you know what I mean). good that you and your hubby are on the same page, so to speak for it. Your goals too of doing a 5K and a swimsuit in summer are obtainable too! You go girl :)