You will perhaps have read about my monthly night's out with my yoga crew. At the start of each month, we head out into town after our yoga class for a meal and drinks. Just a bit of a get together and catch up really.
It has become a tradition for Adam to invite us to his house each summer for a blissful evening of sun, chat, drinks, food and hot tub, in his garden. Here is a roundup of last year's visit.
This year, it was pouring with rain, so we retreated indoors for our party, but the rain wasn't the only change this year. Adam has gone raw (no, not from too much yoga!), but a new diet and a new philosophy.
Raw Foodism (or rawism) is a lifestyle promoting the consumption of uncooked, unprocessed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet. (Thanks Wiki!)
I just didn't know that raw food could be so delicious! Adam made us lots of lovely raw dishes to try - gazpacho, hummous, salad and two of the most sumptuous desserts you ever have seen. A chocolate torte and a blueberry cheesecake. The blueberry cheesecake is based on a Pomegranate Cheesecake and the chocolate torte was original made as a valentine's day dessert, both recipes are by Russell James, The Raw Chef. Adam substituted the pomegranates and beetroot for blueberries, which gave the cheesecake such a gorgeous colour. As you would suspect, there's not any cheese in sight though, instead there cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt, agave and blueberries. A nice line-up of ingredients, I'd say!
I was so impressed by the banquet Adam laid out before us, his enthusiasm for the lifestyle and the change in his physique, that I asked him to write a bit about his new outlook on life. Here it is...
I decided to try a raw food diet in March 2008, after attending Sandy Newbigging's MindBody detox retreat at the LifeCo's Detox Centre at Turkbuku in Turkey.
I received a lot of useful and inspirational information there and decided to continue the good work of the detox retreat by not immediately filling my body up with new toxins. For me that now meant eating raw vegan food. We visited the LifeCo's Saf restaurant in Istanbul (there's now one in London) before returning and I was amazed at the variety of delicious colourful and nutritious food on offer.
Back home I sought help from the internet and raw food books (there's a huge amount of information out there). The last few months have been a huge learning curve for me but I'd say the transition has not been as difficult as I'd anticipated. I didn't plan to go on a weight loss diet, but I have lost some weight (nearly 2 stone) which has been welcome.
It is a way of life and I believe that moving to a raw food diet is the best way to maintain good health, maximise energy levels and maintain youth - it's just great being here!
Books that have inspired me include those by Kate 'Magic' Woods, Matthew Kenney & Sarma Melngailis, Brendan Brazier, Juliano, Gabriel Cousens, David Wolfe, Shazzie, Victoria Boutenko and her family.
I'd recommend the Fresh Network (amongst others) as a source of hard to get ingredients and their quarterly magazine 'Get Fresh!' for information and ideas.
Russell James's website is great and he has some fabulous recipes and I'm looking forward to attending one of his courses very soon.
Thank you for that, Adam!
So if you want to give a Raw Lifestyle a go, there are some websites coming up. But even for those of us who wouldn't consider such a big change to our lifestyles, I think it is still something we could look at for those periods in our lives, when we are feeling yucky or out of sorts with the world.
Detox Your World
The Raw Chef
Saf Restaurant & Bar
Living & Raw Foods