I have been wanting to post about this topic for a while now, but haven’t made a dinner meal that was able to insight the discussion. Tonight I finally have a chance to discuss the raw food diet.
About a month after I met Z he introduced me to his mother, a vivacious woman with the energy of a 14 year old. Like myself, she enjoys a glass of wine with a good, stinky cheese. She and I bonded over recipes, cooking stories, and our love for Gordon Ramsey
Last spring, every time I saw her she seemed a little healthier, a bit fitter. She had decided to train for a half marathon and had adopted a mostly raw food diet. She said she felt more energy, her skin was glowing, and by the end of April she kicked butt in the MORE Half Marathon in Central Park. I went to watch her and was amazed; how did she do it?!
When Z returned from Australia he spent a week at home while I was finishing up work and packing for our move to Boston. Every day he would call me raving about green juice that tasted like lemonade, an amazing nut pate, and how he felt full and satisfied all day long. A few weeks later a package arrived at our new apartment with the book The Raw Food Detox Diet. I was fascinated about what was giving Z’s Mom such great results that I read through it in two days.
A raw food diet means incorporating as many raw foods as possible into your meals: fruits, vegetables, nuts, juices. There are different levels: adding more raw fruits and vegetables, eating “raw until dinner”, eating raw all of the time. People have had amazing results, from weight loss, to fixing digestive problems, to clearer skin and increased energy. While I could not bring myself to eat raw all of the time, I took a look at my own habits and saw areas that could use improving. I began drinking green monsters made with 2 cups of raw spinach, creating hearty salads for lunch and apples with raw almond butter for a snack, drinking almond milk instead of cows. Z likes raw vegetables better anyway, so we will often have some alongside our cooked dinners.
And I can honestly stay I have noticed a difference. I hardly feel sluggish in the mornings and my body is “working better”. Just by paying a little more attention and making a few adjustments I can feel my body changing. Not losing weight, but just feeling…fresher! Baby steps have led me to the place I am in now, accidentally eating almost entirely raw until dinner.
After reading that long story you must be hungry, and so am I! One of our favorite raw meals we have had was at Christmas when everyone made raw sushi. Not only is it a delicious and healthy meal, but it is fun to make. There is nothing better than getting to play with your food a little 🙂 It is also versatile: you can use whatever vegetables you want or are in season. Our version this week ended up being a rainbow medley.
Rainbow Raw Sushi (for two)
8 sheet of raw nori (seaweed)
1 red pepper
2 cups spinach
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 green pepper
1/4 cup water
Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping
Tools: a sushi mat. Lucky for us our placemats are much like sushi mats, made of bamboo. You can also use a damp paper towel covered on both sides by cling film.
Julienne all of the vegetables until thin.
Put the nori shiny side down on the sushi mat. Spread a light layer of miso along the bottom third of the nori.
Put a layer of spinach on top of the nori.
Layer the julienned vegetables along the nori, putting the pieces end to end so they reach across the entire strip. Pile them all of top of each other so the entire bottom third of the nori is overflowing. Top with the alfalfa sprouts.
Using the mat, gently roll the nori over the vegetables until it is wrapped around them. Squeeze the top of the mat to make sure the vegetables are tightly packed.
Gently keep rolling the sushi up, using the mat the keep the roll tight, until you come to the end of the nori. Wet the end with a little water and seal the nori together into a tube. Cut into 8 pieces.
This meal was so tasty, you hardly miss the fish there are so many flavors. And it is filling! Every time we make this I think I will need something on the side, and then can hardly even finish my original portion. I would love to make it a goal to eat one raw dinner a week. I am never going to give up my cooked meals, but I am curious to see where eating more raw foods could lead me. Thank you all for sticking with me through my story, and I hope some of you will give this a try and let me know what you think! As my friend Matt, a die-hard raw foodist, would say: “IT’S RAWWWW!” (He is very enthusiastic about it 🙂 )
Has anyone ever motivated you to try a new food or diet?