Maybe you’re halfway convinced that eating raw is something you can do and should do, but you’re not 100 percent sure howpractical it is or how you can work it into your real, day-to-day life.
Rest assured, you can include healthful and delicious living foods in your lifewithout very much extra work.
When you start eating raw, you’ll inevitably find yourself in social situations where the topic of your food choices comes up. It’s a good idea to let your friends, family, and co-workers know about your raw adventures. You’ll probably find that nearly everyone you talk to about raw foods is intrigued and wants to know more. And if you’re invited to dinner, you might want to let the host know of your raw food preference. Ask if you can bring a raw dish with you. That way, you’ll not only have something to eat, but you can also share your raw creation with others to show them how delicious eating raw can be!
A raw food lifestyle is easier than you might think, and it’s even easier with the support of others. Join some of the online communities and discussion forums. Discover local potlucks, or start your own if none are nearby. You can rotate preparing meals, share recipes, and keep each other inspired. Support your natural food stores, coops, and vegetarian restaurants, which are great places to meet kindred spirits.
Eat Raw, Will Travel
Don’t put off that vacation just because of your newfound desire to eat raw. You can still eat raw while on the road, even if you don’t have room to pack your dehydrator.
Always Be Prepared
The most important thing to remember is that the more you prepare for your trip, the smoother sailing you’ll have. Research your destination and route to discover where natural food stores and restaurants offering raw food options are located. You can also search online for vegetarian or raw-friendly restaurants where you’ll be traveling. And you can always contact a local vegetarian or vegan organization or join an online discussion group to inquire about a specific travel destination. Consider creating a blog or travel log where you include your
stories, resource information, and anything interesting for each destination. When you’re on the road, seek out natural food stores and ask about raw dining options. Find out which farmers’ markets and supermarkets in the area have organic selections. And keep your eyes open for organic salad bars, which are more prevalent than ever!
You Can Take It with You
Your best bet for eating raw and well while traveling is to pack as much food as you reasonably can, given the trip. If it’s a car trip, a cooler is awesome. You can refill the cooler at each natural food store! Bring plenty of salad-making materials, and make your own dips and spreads beforehand. Or make the salad and keep the dressing in a separate container. Spreads like pesto, pâtés, and guacamole are versatile additions to your cooler. Small containers of condiments such as nama shoyu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, agave nectar, and dulse flakes; chiles; and spices are easy to pack and enhance your dining experience. And don’t forget those flax crackers!
Be sure to stock up on snacks, too. Raw trail mixes and fresh fruits such as citrus and apples are lifesavers for the traveler. Use your dehydrator or purchase dried fruits such as apples, bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, and dates. (Do keep in mind that some foods are not allowed on international flights.)
With a little forethought, you can create an amazing raw foods experience while you’re traveling. In most cases, you will have the added excitement of meeting likeminded people wherever you go.
Kids and Raw Food
Introducing kids to raw foods can be an exciting adventure, whether you’re seeking to raise your children as raw foodies, have them join you on our 4-Week Raw Success Program, or simply include more raw and live foods in their diets. Kids generally love raw foods, but be sure to keep them involved in the process. Let them know why you want them to eat raw and get their agreement to give it a try. You can start pretty simply by feeding your baby more raw fruits and vegetables such as bananas, watermelon, fruit salads, and mashed peas. When they get a little older, have them help you in the kitchen. Kids mimic those around them and love participating in grown-up activities, so if you’re in the kitchen cutting apples, get them involved. Show them how to use a small paring knife to cut soft fruits and vegetables. Kids are more likely to eat a salad if they make it themselves.
While they’re helping out around the dinner table, talk to them about why you eat the way you do. Encourage them to ask questions about your lifestyle. Remember that kids love to learn, and learning to eat more raw foods can be as much of an adventure for them as it is for you. Above all, be sure to give kids positive feedback whenever they eat a raw meal or help with preparations. Before you know it, they’ll come up with their own menu creations and lead and inspire the adults in their lives to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Handy Raw Food Snacks
Staying satisfied between meals is the secret to succeeding in eating raw. The convenience factor plays a major part in this. Having healthful alternatives available prevents you from snacking on unhealthy fast food and impulse-purchase foods. Here are some great snack ideas:
- Fresh fruits are nature’s gift to snack time.
- Cut vegetables such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers with a nut butter or nut cheese dip.
- Nori rolls or homemade flax crackers with any of the spreads and dips in earlier chapters.
- The infinite array of smoothies.
- Homemade energy bars and cookies.
- Create your own raw trail mix with raw nuts, seeds, and superfoods such as raw cacao and goji berries.
- Dehydrated fruits, such as bananas, apples, and figs.
- Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds seasoned to taste.
- Frozen raw popsicles—kids love ’em!
- Many natural food stores now offer raw snacks such as energy bars and flax crackers. This is especially true in large cities or towns where a local company distributes raw foods to the stores.
- For the best frozen ice cream you’ve ever experienced, try processing frozen bananas through your Champion juicer using the “blank” option.
Be sure not to skimp on raw snacks. They’re healthful and provide the energy to keep you going between meals.
Raw popsicles are a refreshing treat. Blend fresh fruit such as papaya, pineapple, and pear with fresh apple or orange juice. Pour into a popsicle tray, and freeze. Or make homemade popsicles by pouring the juice into ice cube trays. Place in the freezer until fruit solidifies enough to place a popsicle stick in the cube. Continue to freeze and enjoy.
Growing Your Own Raw Food
As you embark on your raw journey, you’ll find that you prepare more of your own food. It brings a new level of meaning and fulfillment whenyou grow your own food as well. It’s incredibly satisfying to see something grow from seed to plant. This is the true meaning of eating locally. In addition to being the most affordable way to get food, produce is the most fresh, vibrant, and nutritious as soon as it’s harvested. You can grow your own food with love and know exactly what was used to produce it. Plus, gardening is a great hobby that allows you to connect with the natural rhythms of Earth. Consider planting herbs in pots or even landscaping your yard, patio, or porch with edibles. At least grow some basil you can clip off for your pesto.
In big cities, many neighborhoods rent out plots in a community garden where you can plant and harvest your own small garden. Some even offer free plots. Ask around or call your mayor’s office to see if this opportunity exists in your community. You can also easily buy apartment composts, or red worm composts. They are very easy to start and maintain. Some cities and states even subsidize the cost if you call them directly.
Eating raw is a frame of mind. A positive attitude and a spirit of exploration are the greatest tools to have. Be inspired to set personal goals and work toward achieving them. This is particularly important when you’re around friends and family who may not understand your desire to eat raw. It’s good to feel secure in why you’re doing what you’re doing.
As you begin to introduce more raw foods into your diet, cravings will likely arise. This is natural and to be expected. After so many years of eating whatever we want, we get accustomed to certain flavors and textures of cooked and processed foods. Many times, it’s a big psychological adjustment to stay on track while eating raw when cravings for unhealthy foods arise. Don’t despair, and certainly don’t beat yourself up. Just note how fast the cravings pass.
Family and social forces create the idea of what’s “normal” to eat. This idea often doesn’t include healthy options. We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements that encourage us to not only overeat but also to consume high-fat, high-sugar fast foods. Our food choices impact both the quality and length of our lives. Only you know what’s best for you. Listen to yourself. Increasing your intake of raw fruits and vegetables will be healing at any level. Move at your own pace. Eating raw is not a contest to see who can eat 100 percent raw all the time. The raw food police won’t come after you if you’re sharing in family affairs and have a nonraw piece of cake or a food you normally would have enjoyed more often. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you travel this path to a healthier life.
The Least You Need to Know
- Advance preparation makes eating raw while traveling easier and dining out more enjoyable.
- Kids love raw foods and, with the right support, can share in your evolving lifestyle.
- Gardening is a great way to get the freshest, most nutritious and cost-effective produce.
- Enjoy yourself as you introduce these foods, concepts, and recipes into your life at whatever pace you’re comfortable with.