Monday, June 15, 2009

What "Raw" Means To Me

I have come to the impression that many people who are not already immersed in the world of raw foods, think eating raw is about eating apple slices, carrot sticks and bland salads. Some also wonder if I eat raw animal flesh and other raw animal products. I felt it was time to set the record straight on what eating raw is all about for me. There are many variations of the raw food diet, so please keep in mind, this is how I personally eat and my own personal reflections on what this life style choice means to me.

First I would like to say, in my opinion, someone who eats all raw or a large percentage of raw foods, would be someone who follows a raw diet. There are some out there who feel you must eat 100% raw to be able to call yourself a raw foodist, but that mindset doesn't resonate for me, as I am all about inclusiveness and focusing on how we are similar rather than how we are different :). 

The second thing I would like to say is in my world, raw is not law :). There are some who feel if it is raw, it's fair game and healthy. For me, I focus on what makes me feel good, what digests and is eliminated easily, and what doesn't contribute to further burdening my system with toxic waste or residue. There are many raw plants that don't fit into my diet and it is well known that there are many plants that are poisonous to one wouldn't go about eating these just because they are raw, now would they ;)? We must use our own logic and intuition when choosing to make lifestyle changes. For example, although I have healed many food sensitivities, I am still sensitive to the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers) and so of course, I don't include them at this time.

Thirdly, raw is really a lifestyle rather than a diet. A diet implies it is short term to gain a desired result, whereas lifestyle is about integrating deeper meaning into your choice. It is about incorporating beliefs and having your lifestyle choice run parallel to all facets of your life.

So, what raw foods are included in my diet? I eat a variety of raw foods from the following list:

Fruits, Vegetables and their juices

Smoothies, especially green smoothies

Leafy Greens

Wild Greens

Large Salads


Sprouted buckwheat

Nuts, Seeds and their mylks and butters

Sea vegetables



Superfoods (I am not a huge consumer of commercial superfoods, but I do enjoy small amounts of maca and dried wheatgrass powder. I like the Greener Grasses brand. I also like chia, mesquite and beepollen)

Raw oils and vinegar (These are great additions when I'm in the mood for something more savory)

Beepollen and honey

I also eat some cooked, whole, vegan foods from time to time, as I mentioned in the previous blog post.

My lifestyle does not include meat and dairy. This is a personal choice and there are some people who eat raw that include raw flesh and dairy. 

There are so many possibilities of creation with the above list that it is far from redundant or boring! Variety is key. It never fails to amaze me the miraculous creations some come up with in the raw food community. You don't ever have to feel deprivation and can satisfy just about any flavor fix you are in the mood for. I have never been one that wants to spend lots of time in the kitchen and I enjoy a simpler raw diet. Even in my cooked days I was all about quick and easy :). Easy and simplicity are key for me and it's important to find your comfort level as well. I notice my vitality, energy and glow are optimal when I eat simply and focus on greens, green juice, fruit and vegetables. On rare occasion I make some complex stuff in the kitchen, and when I do, I will be sure to blog about it, but those meals served more of a transitory purpose in my diet. When my husband has time, he is very creative in the kitchen and with our dehydrator. I'm lucky to get his yummy treats from time to time :).

We all come with our own individual experiences and circumstances that we must take into consideration when approaching a new way of eating. I don't do well with gluten, so this is not a part of my diet. For me, my lifestyle is best approached from an angle of abundance, rather than deprivation. Some like to look at raw as an elimination method of getting rid of as many unfit substances as possible. When I think in this mind set it creates a lot of resistance and I start to feel deprived and get hang-ups about food. It has really helped me to move into a space of abundance, looking at all the great, beautiful options I have and feeling excited to try new things I would have never been exposed to before this lifestyle. I can truly attest that I LOVE these foods, the way I eat, and the way my my mind and body feel. Do what feels best to you, and use your intuition. It is also helpful to read or get coaching from someone who resonates with you and seems to be at a place mentally, emotionally and physically you would like to be at.

I would also like to add that eating raw is so much more to me than making food choices. It has transformed my entire life and has radically effected the way I integrate all aspects of my being. Not only do I eat this way for health, but I do it for its sustainability, the empowerment of being able to grow my own food and to know exactly what I am putting into my precious body. I do it because it is kind to all life and mother earth. I do it because it tastes amazing, fills me with light, love and energy, and has allowed me to get out of a rigid box when it comes to preconceptions about what food is. I also eat this way because it connects me to the planet, to my true self and to spirit.

In love and light~


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