Note: The following is an article I wrote for the fabulous One Green Planet site. Also, the image above was compiled by them from images I submitted.
Flexibility and The Power of the Raw Food Spectrum
Amazing benefits await when you start eating a raw vegan diet. Common experiences include effortless weight loss, increased energy, softer skin, clear and bright eyes, silky hair, better sleep, mental clarity, major health improvements, and peaceful frame of mind. Sounds great, huh!? However, one common question I’m asked is, “I see a lot of different raw food diets out there, which one is right?” As with many things in life, there are different schools of thought regarding which is the best plan when following a diet of raw vegan food.
The raw food diet has a nice wide spectrum as to the different styles of raw food options that are available. After years of fielding questions on my blog, it’s clear that the wide range of options can seem confusing or overwhelming at first. But fear not! Once you realize that the options are nothing more than a continuum ranging from “a little bit” to “all” raw, most of the various ways to “do” raw fall neatly into place. The spectrum of options actually becomes a powerful tool that allows you to precisely tune your degree of raw based on where you are in your life, health situation, and day-to-day circumstances.
At the least-raw end of the spectrum are people who merely try to incorporate more salads and smoothies into their vegan diet (for our purposes, we’ll assume the beginner is already vegan). By simply eating 1-2 salads or smoothies a day, this will automatically start replacing non-raw foods, most notably, cooked and processed foods made from refined wheat/flour, corn, and sugar. Score an immediate win for increased nutrition as you replace nutrient-starved crap with healthy raw veggies!
We are in Monsoon season here in Arizona. A time of true beauty to be sure. Gorgeous sunsets, cleansing rains, and…. the occasional dust storm. I wouldn’t call a dust storm a thing of beauty, but they are kind of crazy cool. My mom wrote about one last year and I had to share it on my blog because it cracked me up. She’s a funny lady – warning… she doesn’t mince words. Enjoy the post. (You can follow her on twitter here.)
Arizona’s 2011 Wind Storm – The BLOB?
by Sunny Larson
Weather in Arizona is mostly predictable. Sun…Sun…Sun. While other areas of the country worry about snow storms, flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes, we have more sun. BUT, we have monsoons. Monsoons bring rain and wind usually in July and August. The day can be full of sun….and then at 4:00pm the clouds roll in… the wind starts… followed by rain if we are lucky. We are in the desert so rain is at a premium.
If you were watching the news the other day… a 7000 foot dust wall that was miles long was rolling across Phoenix and surrounding cities. It was so dense you could not see one foot in front of you. It reminded me of an old movie called, “THE BLOB.” It was described as a massive event native Arizonians have not seen in 30 years. When I saw it filmed on TV, I called my daughter, Kristen, immediately. She was about to go to Whole Foods.
“Hell no you’re not going! A huge dust storm is heading your way. They’ve closed the airport. Don’t leave. Take cover.” Only a mother in panic would yell. She went to her balcony and saw it rolling in the city. It was engulfing Camelback Mountain.
I called everyone I knew. This BLOB was rolling in at 60-70 miles an hour. Some people thought I was joking.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email that moved me. A husband emailed me to see if I would mind sharing his wife’s story and blog on my blog. His wife is a cancer survivor and on a mission to live as long as she can and sharing her story with people along with way (it involves lots of veggies and healing!). He wanted to do everything he could to help her and realized that one way was to support her new endeavor. That’s where I come in. As some of you know, starting a blog can be overwhelming and the one thing we all love is having our blog get visitors, right? Well, her husband emailed me to see if I could share her work with my visitors; thereby, getting her visitors.
I was more than happy to help this fellow veggie out. I’m so happy to share the following with you. So, without further ado…. Kristen’s Raw readers, please meet Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick.
I asked Kristen of Healthy Cancer Chick to share her story of cancer and healing with you. It’s inspirational. And, it reminds me of the part in my Raw Awakening book where I write about how people can think they’re eating healthy, when they really aren’t. I actually have a potty-mouth label for it – hehe. Those of you who have read it, you know the one. ;)
Ooooh beauties… do I have a great post for you —> Skincare. Animal friendly. Non-toxic. Need I say more? Are you interested? Let’s get to it.
Sprout Skincare: I’ve been a fan of Sprout Skincare products for a couple of years now. Although I’m always trying new beauty goodies and sharing my finds with you, there are some that are always going to be found in my bathroom. Enter: Sprout Skincare. This fun little company is owned by Adina Grigore and she’s a total gem – solid gal – good energy vibin’ woman. She makes great products and her love in them shows. So, I was thrilled when she sent me some of her products in their new packaging … as well as offering my readers a treat! Lucky you!!
What did she send me?
Eco friendly, Natural, Non-toxic Skincare by Sprout Skincare (I love the glass packaging)
I was the blessed recipient of her amazing all over cream (I’m playing beauty goddess with it and using it with my new passion, essential oils. It’s a nice carrier product for them). She also sent me a travel size cleanser and toner, which is perfect because we’re planning a camping trip soon. Not only are they a great travel size, but the way to use them is great for camping. You see, the cleanser uses a cotton ball to wipe over your face, and then a quick splash with water to rinse off. That will be easy to do while camping instead of lathering up a cleanser, getting my hands all soapy, etc). She also sent me a kit of her lip balms. Adorable little case for them. As you can imagine, I’m stoked and grateful. Thank you, Adina.
So, what can you get as a reader of mine? Well, I loved the travel size cleanser and toner so much that if you make a purchase and use the coupon code KRISTEN when you check out, you’re getting a travel cleanser and toner for free! How awesome is that?! And, during the month of August, there’s free shipping, too. Double score!
Hop on over to Sprout Skincare and treat yourself to something marvelous. If I can make a recommendation, you will not go wrong with purchasing Adina’s cream. It’s one of my favorite creams ever.
I recently bought this DVD (Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death) on Amazon by Dr. Michael Greger, and I’m so glad my family saw it. We’ve actually watched it a couple of times. It filled us with pride and excitement over our dietary choices – as if we didn’t have enough already.
We’re also sharing it with our omnivore family and friends because it really hits home to the importance of eating plant based foods. Plus, it’s funny, in parts. Dr. Greger has a great sense of humor.
I dedicate this recipe to the wonderful city of Santa Barbara, CA, where I discovered Backyard Bowls (the inspiration for this recipe). Over the years, I had heard of acai bowls now and then, but I didn’t give them much thought and they weren’t prominent on my radar. I had never eaten one, had never even seen one in any local healthfood places, and the idea didn’t appeal to me enough to make my own.
Well all that changed with our recent trip to Santa Barbara this past spring! As I often do before vacations, I searched online for vegan food options near our hotel and Backyard Bowls came up as very popular. After reading a few of the rave reviews, acai bowls seemed like a great option for breakfast while on our trip.
Here is a peek into one of my refrigerators (we have two, plus an additional stand alone freezer – love having all the storage space). I took you on a tour of my kitchen not so long ago with this video here.
But, here is a current snap shot! As you can see… Mostly raw. Organic. Vegan.
Top shelf: chlorella tablets, Love Bean Fudge, raw stone ground sunflower / pumpkin seed butter, raw stone ground cashew butter, seaweed snacks, sunflower lecithin.
Middle shelf: Tons of fresh Norwalk pressed organic green juice, lettuce, chocolate, raw sauerkraut, 4-Ingredient Magic raw salad dressing.
Middle drawer: ginger, tempeh, tofu
Bottom shelf: miso (lots – about 5 jars), lettuce (washed and ready to go – I like to have it ready to eat so there’s no excuse), fresh brewed herbal tea (I have an exciting blog post planned to share my tea loving habits), strawberries
Bottom drawers: tons of fresh produce for salads, smoothies, and juices
As requested by many, here is my recent food journal. Three days worth of delicious, fresh, awesome and nourishing food. On a side note, we took Kamea to a trampoline and tumbling gym today. Wow, it was so fun! I love seeing her smile so much. :)
Delicious fresh salads with creamy raw dressing
Tea n raw chocolate n Core Defender bar
Peach. Protein shake. Raspberries. Cashews.
Salad (romaine, carrot, cucumber, heirloom tomato with Basil Pili Nut Dressing). Core Defender bar. Protein shake.
Protein shake (there’s this recipe I made and I’m addicted)
Although I have a lot of days where I eat all raw food, it’s not always my norm. My schtick is all about balance, keeping it simple, healthy, delicious and doing what you can when you can. Therefore, there are some times that I don’t eat all raw. And, I’d say that although my cooked choices are usually top notch healthy (as far as cooked foods go), I do leave room for the occasional cookie, Coconut Bliss ice cream, Chipotle Burrito, and vegan fair-trade dark chocolate bars. Thankfully, I can officially call it “occasional” – I tell ya, I’ve come a loooong way since my Madame Gluttonia Days that I wrote about during my Raw Reboot.
I know that I’ve mentioned many times how I’m really busy with motherhood (attachment parenting is a busy experience), and spending time in the kitchen preparing food isn’t something I get to do much of these days. That’s OK though, because with easy to prep foods like I’m sharing with you today, you get two bonuses:
Hi! I'm a chef, author, homeschooling mom, and I love to eat and cook super healthy food. I'm a former vegan, now real-food omnivore, who enjoys coffee(!), dark chocolate, rebounding, and researching the latest tips for optimal living.