I have become successful at eating a mostly raw diet because I have made an effort to keep it simple. My first raw prep book, although incredibly delicious, was far too time consuming. I would never recommend it because of the endless hard to find ingredients list and time required to prepare a meal. I am not a fan of the dehydrator. Some like the dehydrator because it helps them prepare foods that are reminiscent of cooked foods. (If that's your thing, try Alissa Cohen's Living on Live Food) I'm sure I'll make zucchini or sweet potato chips at some point but I can't stand how noisy it is or how long it takes to complete a meal. I want it fast, quick and easy.
First thing when I wake up I drink a tall glass of water with lemon juice. During the sleep hours your body does not stop working. It goes into repair mode. Part of the labor involved during sleep is detoxifying. The liver needs a good flush of water with lemon to help clear out the toxins.
Before I head off to the gym, I have Dr. Richard Schulze's Superfood. The debate rages on. To supplement or not to supplement. I hear both sides of the argument. If you have a good, clean diet with plenty of variety, you don't need to worry about supplementing. But then again, even good wholesome organic produce sits on the truck en route to the grocery store depreciating in nutritional value with each day that passes. I lean on the side of supplementing. But not just any supplement. I love Dr. Schulze's philosophy on creating powerful health, and his amazing zest for living. It has been his mission to produce the most nutrient dense supplement on the market. (No, I'm not his employee, just a satisfied customer.) Read here why Superfood is a superior supplement. I love Superfood because of how it is prepared. There hasn't been any major alteration to the ingredients. They are plants that have been cut down to a small particle size and dehydrated at a low temperature to preserve the live enzymes. B12 is a nutrient that vegetarians have a hard time getting. Superfood is loaded with it. Here is the ingredients list. Click on Superfood plus- more info to access ingredients list.
When I come home after my morning workout at the gym, I prepare a breakfast with either oat groats or buckwheat that have soaked overnight. I start the night before and soak ½ cup of oat groats in water. In the morning I drain the water out and blend the oat groats with 1 cup of milk (almond, rice or coconut milk). I add one large apple, a dash of salt, a dash of nutmeg and ½ tbsp or less of almond or vanilla extract. Experiment with this basic recipe. Instead of apples try adding pineapple with coconut milk for a pina collada flavor or strawberries and banana. Another breakfast idea is to have sprouted buckwheat that has barely sprouted (soak buckwheat overnight and rinse in the morning). I eat it straight with almond milk and frozen blueberries. For those new to raw food, I would recommend having it with a fruit salad and a cashew cream sauce. For the cream sauce soak about 1 cup of cashews for a couple of hours, drain it and blend it with enough non-dairy milk for it to be creamy. Add dates and a dash of salt to taste. Drizzle the fruit salad, buckwheat, and cream sauce with agave nectar. Yum! I also make a green smoothie. Click here for a how-to.
For lunch I make a pate from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet. I love all her pates and spreads. I also search online for quick, easy spreads. I'll wrap it in a kale, collard or chard leaf with cucumber, tomato, sprouts and some lime juice or soy sauce. (If you really want to be totally raw, use nama shoyu instead of soy sauce.) I try to vary the greens, the pates and the sprouts that I add.
For dinner, I cook a vegan meal for my family and make a huge organic salad. I eat the salad only. Again, I try to vary the ingredients as much as possible.
I snack on avocados with sea salt, crudites with a variety of dips, raw nuts and fruit with raw nut butters. This is the basic blueprint for my meals. I like trying new recipes and expanding my repertoire, but I still follow this basic routine. Many times I don't get to every meal. I just don't get hungry for it. My beverage of choice is water. I also juice about once a week. My favorite juiced drink is carrots with grapefruit and orange. Delicious! You don't have to follow what I do exactly but this eating plan can be a start for someone who is clueless as to what to eat when you want to eat raw. If you desire cooked food, eat the raw food first and then move onto the cooked food.
Drop dead gorgeous celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder has an excellent post about what is wrong with the Standard American Diet, please take the time to read it here! Kimberly has so much good information on her blog and book. Well worth the time to read.
This information may seem like so much to take in at first. I recommend taking a step per week. Try adding a green smoothie one week. The following week try filling up on a green salad before you move onto your cooked meal. Keep reading as much as you can about plant based diets to keep your focus. Don't be hard on yourself, but continue to make small incremental steps toward healthier living. Best wishes for a healthier life!
Enjoy the Journey!