Looking back over the past year…giving thanks to the Raw Food Community

I remember over a year ago I was tired of feeling bad. One of my coworkers was studying to become a nutritionist and performed a hair analysis on me. Based on the results, I decided to start changing my diet, and stress levels. In the process I started creating recipes that I would enjoy that would cut out a lot of the things that were making me ill, such as refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, and white flour. I gave ups Starbucks (that was hard, but worth it!), and cut back on my processed chocolate bars. I started using more stevia in my recipes – after all, my company manufacturer’s the best and healthiest quality stevia you can find. One day I decided to make a low bake, low glycemic, and gluten free carob chip cookie.

I came up with my own recipe using stevia and oatmeal that was an absolute hit at work and home. I baked it at a very low temperature, and not for very long, then let it dry in the oven until it was set. These cookies were so good, that I began researching how I could make a raw cookie. Not because I was thinking about going raw, just because I thought it would be healthier for me to eat when I craved “junk food”. I got out my raw book that I purchased years ago, Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life, and started looking for something that would remind me of a chocolate chip cookie – but didn’t really find what I want. So, I went to the internet for answers and came across http://www.goneraw.com/. That’s when I discovered a whole world of delicious and easy raw food recipes to try. So, I was hooked – line and sinker! I began making my own recipes up and posting them on the site. I started researching more about the topic, and began reading my raw cookbook again.

Not to digress, but just need to mention this…it’s funny how things come to you in life. I mean, years ago when I worked in Semiconductor, my coworker bought Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life book. She bought it for the pictures and layout. I mean, it is a spectacular looking book! When I saw it I was so impressed, I purchased my own copy. When I started reading about Juliano, raw food, and how some of the recipes were prepared, I started getting a little interested. I myself have tried vegetarian diets, even vegan diets, so I’m no stranger to eating healthier – just never was disciplined enough. Food always meant so much more to me then just food for health. It was thought provoking, emotional, passionate, exciting, mysterious – dangerous (ha, ha, ha)…just too hard to just not try it all (cooked, uncooked, processed, baked, fried, grilled, chilled…you name it, I wanted to try it!) So, that’s why the book ended up in my kitchen bookshelf with all the other “exotic” cookbooks…Now back to my journey to “RAW”.

One day while at the bookstore, I was looking for raw books, and discovered that Carol Alt was a raw foodist. Well for me that was great, because I knew who she was. I read the preface of her book, The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle, and a little bit about her journey, and decided to buy the book for myself. Wow! Now I was even more impressed by this whole concept of raw foods. So then I started talking about it on myspace.com. That’s when I discovered Heidi and Justin Ohlander. Or should I say that they found me, and invited me into a whole new world and community of fellow raw foodists, and enthusiasts. “Thank you Heidi and Justin!”

That’s when I really started to dive into raw food whole-heartedly. I started looking at YouTube.com clips on Angela Stokes, and Philip McCluskey, and emailing them about how inspiring their stories were. And the cool thing is they are both very special and warm people. They both wrote me back. I thought that was way cool, since I’m sure they get bombarded with “fan” mail…lol.

Instead of watching the Food Network, I found myself watch YouTube.com clips of Karen Knowler, and Ani Phyo preparing the best darned raw food recipes – I tried each one of them for myself!

Anyway, every person I’ve met so far in the raw food community has been wonderful. I can’t wait to meet some of these people in person. I’m especially looking forward to meeting Kristen Suzanne someday, since she lives here in Arizona –and not too far away. Carmella, and Shannon Marie are also terrific gals that I would love to meet someday. There’s so many of these warm and inspiring individuals, it would take pages just to list every single one of them!

As you know, I’m not a purist…maybe some day. Until then, my main focus is to continue to incorporate as much raw food into my diet everyday – over 80% or more. Some days I know, and have, fallen off the wagon – but I still have managed to eat more than 75% a day no matter what. So, that’s not too bad for someone like me who is basically “addicted to food”! Blogging is definitely therapeutic for me, and helps me acknowledge my focus.

I truly appreciate all of you who take the time to read my blogs, and for the supportive comments. I hope that you too benefit from some of what I share. For all of you on this journey to optimum health and well being through raw food – I wish you life long success!

Hey, how ‘bout another smoothie recipe…I know, I’m obsessed lately with creating smoothies!!! Enjoy!

Stone Cold Smoothie:
(I gave it this name because the fruits used in this recipe are considered stone fruits, or drupes – fleshy indehiscent fruit with a single seed).

2 fresh apricots, stoned and cut
2 fresh peaches, stoned and cut
4 fresh plums, stoned and cut
4-6 dates, pitted and chopped
2 small bananas, peeled and chopped
2 handfuls goji berries
2-4 handfuls macadamia nuts
½ – 1 T maca powder
½ – 1 T lucuma powder
1 scoop raw protein
drizzle of agave nectar
lots of fresh purified ice
water to cover (more or less depending upon thickness)

Place all ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth and well blended. Makes about 2-4 full servings. (Recommendation: freeze your fruit, and then add it to your smoothie. It will make it colder and more like a shake; also, replace nuts and water with your favorite nut mylk for a creamier smoothie).

One more…

Carob-Cao Dessert Shake:

1 scoop raw chocolate ice cream
1 scoop raw vanilla ice cream
1-2 scoops raw carob powder
2 small bananas
1 handful raw cacao nibs
drizzle agave nectar
handful goji berries
4-6 purified ice cubes
purified water to cover

Place all ingredients in the blender, and puree until very smooth and creamy. Makes about 2-3 full servings. Yummy-yummo!

Till next time!
– Debbie :0)

3 thoughts on “Looking back over the past year…giving thanks to the Raw Food Community

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