Before I get to today's post, I want to thank everyone that has been so sweet and let me know through blog comments, e-mail, and even Twitter DM's how much I was missed while I was in Florida. I am so lucky to have such wonderful, caring friends. Your concern has helped me through a rough spot in my life, and is so much appreciated! Thank you.
Also, to my blogger buddies, I am still catching up with you, and Google Reader has been a little...ummm...temperamental lately...lol! I love all your blogs so much and hate to miss out on what you have been doing.
OK!...on with today's post:)
I have been eating what I refer to as "mostly raw" food since early 2007. After feeling the benefits from this wonderful way of eating, it was clear to me that for the rest of my life, I would consume as much natural, organic raw food as possible.
Here are a few of the things that helped me stay raw.
1.) The very first thing that helped me stay raw was finding the website Gone Raw. Most of you are already familiar this awesome resource. I am pretty sure there are over 4000 recipes published there, with new recipes added weekly!
It was so incredible to know almost any recipe on that site would fit into my new way of eating:)
I observed the forums there for quite a while, and learned so much about the raw food lifestyle. The information there, to me, is priceless. Many thanks to Kandace and Ray for keeping this site up and running.
2.) Having a well stocked pantry and refrigerator allows me to experiment with lots of recipes. Check out the recipe index on this blog to see some of the raw food I have been making! Also, I don't buy food I should not eat!!!
There is food in the house for other family members, and I cook it for them. I just act like I am preparing food in a restaurant. It is not my food, I don't even taste it. I make sure I have had a healthy raw snackie before preparing their food.
I also eat every few hours to keep hunger at bay. I usually have 3 meals and 2 small snacks.
3.) Making beautiful meals from raw food:)
I try to make the food look attractive and appealing, even when I don't take a picture of it for the blog:) like My S&M Salad with butterfly crackers.
I also learned to slow down while eating, appreciate and be aware of each bite. I used to wolf down my food so fast when I was working, and didn't even sit down most times! No more eating out of the prep bowl for me either...I make a nice plate and sit down.
I purchased a small set of dishes I really loved, just for me.
4.) Finding my own favorite quick, easy, 'raw food essentials' such as smoothies, salads, juices, and snacks. It took me a while to find recipes I really love.
I always have a some food ready to 'grab and eat', like trail mix, granola, kale chips, marinated veggies, and date/nut balls or bars.
My happy raw trail mix is made from equal parts (1/2 cup each) of cashews, pistachios, hunza raisins, cacao nibs, mulberries, and goji berries. I measure, mix, and store it right in the jar. I topped some raw chocolate bars with this mix in the first picture above.
The staples of my diet take only a few minutes to prepare, and make up the bulk of my meals. One of my favorite everyday recipes is my caponata, pictured below in little tart shells. A big bowl of caponata lasts several days in the fridge, and tastes better as it marinates.
5.) Experimenting...a lot!
I occasionally like to make a fancy "gourmet" meal. Many favorites are in my raw food books.
I love to try almost any new recipe. I am never bored with raw food!!! Some of my favorites have been found on other blogs. I love you all, my creative blogging friends:)
I recently tried and loved Heathy's coconut chik'n curry,
and a sweet salad from Gena:)
6.) Eating at a restaurant that offers a salad bar. There aren't any places around here that are vegan, let alone raw! We eat out twice a week on average and try to pick a restaurant with a salad bar.
If we go someplace that does not have that option, I usually end up getting a big salad with some changes, like a chicken salad without the chicken...lol!
At Asian buffets, I can make a great salad using the raw vegan fixings they have set out for stir-fry. If no raw options are available, I just go with whatever looks like it will do the least damage!
Sometimes, I actually get a great raw food idea from restaurants. The salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays inspired this raw version of their Mediterranean pasta salad:)
7.) Most of all, what keeps me eating raw is the incredible way it makes me feel. Staying healthy is one of my top priorities in life, and I truly believe raw foods give me an "edge". I know it is not a guarantee of great health, but believe it is a major contributing factor.
8.) Although I did start eating raw foods for my health, the vegan aspect is now a HUGE reason for staying raw:) But that, my friends, could be another entire post!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today, and if you have any tips, I would love to know what helps you stay raw!