The main food staples include all plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and legumes) as they occur in nature, and any combination of them. They can be cut, diced, blended, frozen, juiced, dehydrated, fermented or combined in any way you can think of, so long as they aren’t heated above 42 degrees Celsius. Some raw foodists recommend fermented foods, such as kimchi and yogurt.
Several benefits of this high fiber diet include lowering inflammation, improving digestion, and improving chronic health conditions.
Today I sat down with my friend, author and fellow Youtuber Melissa from Lissa’s Raw Food Romance to get some insight on arguably one of the healthiest (and trendiest!) diets out there.
Why raw vegan?
I choose raw vegan because not only am I choosing vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, but I want to be raw because I believe it is the best possible way to eat. I feel that raw foods are the most thriving foods and cooked foods are more for survival purposes. Sure, we can survive on them and feel great still, but I don’t. I feel AMAZING on a raw vegan diet, so that is what I choose. I also choose raw because it’s more hydrating, easier to digest, non-addictive and I can eat a lot of it without feeling guilty or regretful.
How long have you been raw?
I have been raw since September 12, 2014 – so as of this writing, about 3 years and four months.
Can anyone do it?
Of course!! Anyone can do it. You just need to tweak the diet to make it fit into your tastes and lifestyle. Finding your “fallback five” top favorite recipes to always have ingredients on hand for and you know you can make quickly and easily in times of stress, boredom and time issues. I feel as long as you eat a low-fat version of raw food and make sure you get enough calories and abundance, it can certainly work for anyone.
There’s a lot of different versions of a raw vegan diet out there. What’s your philosophy?
For myself, the way that works best for me is to do fruit in the mornings and as snacks. I never ever snack on nuts and do not ever use oils in my food. For lunch, I have a no-fat or very low-fat dressing on a huge salad and then another salad or dinner creation for supper. I try to keep any fat intake to a minimum and only really do fats with my evening meal. I feel that fats should be reserved for greens and vegetables to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in them. I also prefer fats at my evening meal because I feel more chill and it helps me to sleep much better than a big bowl of banana nice cream! But I still do that sometimes too!
How do you navigate going out to restaurants and social events with friends?
First off, if it’s a restaurant, I will always eat before I go because the salads I get at restaurants are always way too small for the price and I feel hungry. To me, restaurant food is just a snack and something to chew with among friends. We all just want to chew together and I choose to chew greens. I will sometimes bring my own dressing. If I don’t bring a dressing, I just as for fruit and berries, lemon juice and black pepper for the dressing. Some places have other spices to sprinkle on like red pepper flakes. For family and friend get-togethers, I will ALWAYS bring my own food with enough to share should anyone want to try. It helps to show the loved ones you are with, that you are actually eating a lot. They can try some and you feel full and not guilty for indulging at an event!
What is your favorite meal?
My favorite meal currently is a toss-up between 5 different obsessions: my spicy Asian almond dressing, my Pad Thai, my Marinated Mushroom Marinara on Zoodles, any dip with my cashew sour cream with veggies, and my Raw Vegan Chili. I honestly can’t decide, it’s all SO GOOD!! Basically, anything in any of my recipe books!
Are there any tools/appliances you would recommend to help make food prep easier?
For appliances, I don’t think I could ever live without my Vitamix. I also love my Veggie Bullet which is an electronic spiralizer! I love that for quick zoodles. My dehydrator is a must for marinating things and warming up meals. Those would be the top three, but other awesome time saves are things like a quick chopper like the Vidalia Chopper, a good set of knives and cutting boards, large mixing bowls for salads, glass straws and mason jars for water and smoothies, bamboo cutlery, and I like to collect dip bowls for Instagram photos!
What are your staple foods?
Staple foods that I buy and stock AT ALL TIMES: Dates, bananas, berries, other fruit in season, garlic, yellow onions, green onions, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers and ginger/turmeric. I also can’t live without oregano, basil, smoked paprika, Kashmiri and chili powder!
I can attest to how amazing Melissa’s books are! The paperback’s are available on Amazon.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of Melissa’s ebooks, follow the link here: http://www.payhip.com/rawfoodromance