When I mention that I eat a high raw diet, people think I’m crazy. In reality, a day of raw food in my kitchen is a pretty tasty – and easy – thing.
Because I live in a house with a carnivore, I’m not going completely vegetarian as I have in the past. I’m also not giving up my coffee. I understand that I should because of my chronic conditions, but I’m not ready to make that jump. I’m also a huge fan of dairy. While I am cutting down on the amount of cheese and yogurt I consume, I’m not eliminating it entirely.
Here’s what a day of raw food looks like in my kitchen.
A typical day for me looks like this:
Breakfast: Coffee and raw fruit. I generally go for the easy kind where I don’t have to do any prep work such as bananas and dates. I’m not a morning person, so this meal is probably the hardest for me. My normal inclination is to skip breakfast, so my goal is to just put something – anything – nutritious in my body so that I can retrain my brain into thinking early morning food is a good thing.
*Simple version: There’s nothing more simple than raw fruit.
Snack: Fruit and a green smoothie. Sometimes I may add some nut butter to the mix. I’m keeping things very simple right now.
Lunch: A salad loaded with greens and veggies, an avocado wrap with veggies, some marinated portabello mushrooms over cauliflower “rice,” or similar. I love adding apples or pears to a salad as well. Easy additions are raw hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or nuts. Chia and nutritional yeast are also my friends. All of these options take only minutes to prepare.
*Simple version: Add a salad to your normal lunch.
Snack: If I’ve had time to prep some more time-intensive snacks over the weekend, the afternoon is where I grab them. I tend to want something crunchy and salty here, but if that’s not available I’ll reach for some nuts. Same mouth-feel, same easy nature. (Easy is my key.) A raw granola in the dehydrator is a great snack for the afternoon munchies.
Dinner: This is my main cooked meal of the day. I am trying to focus on clean eating principles as well as keeping it low-sodium, and the main way that I’ve been able to stick with that is by using a slow cooker. I’m exhausted by this point in the day, and living without a dishwasher (hello, I am the dishwasher) means I hate cooking for an hour only to spend an hour washing dishes by hand.
I’ll admit it: washing dishes takes the fun of cooking out of it for me. One-pot meals have become a great help to me, but that’s another blog post!
This is the meal, however, that I focus on good, warm, filling food. It makes the man happy, creates enough leftovers for his lunch the next day, and keeps me nice and warm. Tonight’s dinner? Balsamic Beef Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Yum.
*Simple version: Add a raw veggie and dip plate to the center of the table or include raw fruit as a sweet side.
Snack: No matter how hard I try, I just can’t shake my evening snack. Frozen fruit is a winner here. It’s another serving of a raw fruit, and the cold, sweet taste makes me think of ice cream. There are many great recipes out for a quick whipped “nice cream” but usually I just reach for the bag of fruit and a bowl. My favorite: dark sweet cherries.
See? I keep things very, very simple.
This is not medical advice.
Don’t listen to me because you think I have my act together. I’m a work in progress. I know far more about other subjects than I do about nutrition. Do listen to me as an example of what is possible if you are thinking of making a transition to a high-raw lifestyle. It’s not salads at every meal. It’s not 800 kitchen gadgets and hours of making fancy gourmet dishes in your Excalibur dehydrator. Yes, it can be. There are great recipes out there to fill your trays and create the best raw pizzas and wraps that you can, and I do make them as special treats. But the key is your high raw diet doesn’t have to be filled with these time-intensive foods.
I’m not a nutritionist. I’m a tired, old mama. With chronic illness. And a weight and energy problem. This is my solution. My body feels better when I eat this way, so I know it works for me based on the results. Simple trial and error proves it for me (and to my doctor come lab work time!)
It helps lower my inflammation, increases my energy, and I sleep better which is an added help to managing my pain.
Believe me, that makes it worth it.
What’s your favorite way to slip in healthy fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds into your diet? Share some ideas with me in the comments. I’m always looking for inspiration!
© 2017, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.