20 August 2008

Going Raw















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...

Going Raw...

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.


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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.

Recommended Websites

Detox Your World
David Wolfe
The Raw Chef
Fresh Network
Saf Restaurant & Bar
Life Co
Sandy Newbigging
Life Detox
Living & Raw Foods
Raw Living
Red Sugar

35 comments:

  1. Oh yum that "cheesecake" looks delicious. Lucky you!

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  2. That cheese cake looks really good!

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  3. That is absolutely beautiful. I love the color of blueberries.

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  4. That looks just spectacular! And that's quite a heap o' coconut butter in that recipe--must taste very rich!

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  5. The cheesecake looks lovely. Really great colour. A purely raw diet though? I just don't understand at all! Did you see Susan from Food Blogga's post about rawists/nudists recently - very funny!
    Fair play to your friend though. It's all about choice,isn't it? :)

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  6. Hi Ashley, I was very lucky to have a slice of that cake :P

    I will pass that compliment on Kevin :)

    Hi Diann, the bluberries did make the cheesecake the most beautiful colour!

    It was very rich Ricki. A somall slice left you feeling very satisfied and very happy!

    Hi Wendy, I understand what you are saying, I don't think I could go raw either, but I think I might try it for a few days, if I was feeling under-weather. I read Susan's article too, it was funny! But this cheesecake was divine :P

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  7. Thanks for the info! I am going to a wedding dinner tomorrow night - very casual. I am going to make Adam's cheese cake!! Yummmy.

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  8. Let me know how that goes Vegan Cowgirl and have fun!

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  9. I am going to check out the links you provided, and if nothing else we should all avoid processed foods as much as possible. Maybe try for raw food days ? Great post!

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  10. I can't see myself going completely raw, since I do like my food and soups prepared and warm on a regular basis - and my halloumi grilled - but it was such an interesting read and I'm sure it would be great to try some raw recipes. The cake looks divine!

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  11. raw or not, that's the most gorgeous cheesecake i've ever seen. to know that it's so freakin' good for you is quite the added bonus. :)
    even if everything was that delectable, i don't think i could be a raw foodist. i love the things they go without too much.

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  12. I dont think I could cope with a totally 'raw' diet but Im sure that the cheescake would make it easier!

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  13. I don't think I could go totally raw either but I find the idea and inventiveness fascinating. Restrictions sometimes lead to ingenuity. That cheesecake, for example, looks the absolute business!

    Must go read Susan's blog post...

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  14. I think to go raw to detoxify is about all I could manage at this point. A friend of mine has been vegan for years and just this year started the raw food life style. She is on a holiday in Greece right now for 3 weeks...I hope she is finding plenty to eat...wink...wink...she might be raiding gardens:D

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  15. What a fab looking cheesecake. Not sure if I could handle the raw food diet all the time though!!

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  16. Great informative blog. I am interested in the rawism and have considered it more of a detox than a lifestyle. I do not think I could stick to something like that, but kudos to those that can.
    Your detox in Turkey sounds so great. After this summer I am going to be in need of cleansing and will look to some of your great sites.

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  17. Sounds like quite a raw feast!! That blueberry cheesecake looks amazing too.

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  18. Hi Ohio Mom, You are so right, we should all try to eat fresh food as much as possible.

    Hi Pia, I think the recipes are so good, that you could sneak them in there for a healthier life. But I am like you, the soups, the cheese..... pretty hard to give up :)

    Hi Grace, it is one beautiful cheesecake, isn't it?

    Hi Katie, I think that is what Adam is finding too, that food tastes delicious when it is raw and of course you aren't losing all the nutrients you lose when you cook fruit and veg.

    Hey Jen, You are right, rawism is very inventive.

    Hi Val, I think it would be hard to go to Greece and miss out on the lovely cheese, but the salads are great too!

    Hi Beth, it is a big step to take.

    Hi Parker, Let me know how you get on, if you try it! And yes, Adam had a great time in Turkey. He found it really inspirational.

    I think it would be easier to start a diet like this, while you are away in the sun. We are just getting rain here everyday and I just want hot food.

    It was a gorgeous raw feat Amanda, you would have really enjoyed it :)

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  19. I know going raw is healthy but I am afraid to give up all my favorite "cooked" foods. Good for Adam! The cheesecake looks amazing.

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  20. Thanks Pam, I will pass that on :)

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  21. oh, I have read and reread that pomegranate cheesecake recipe. nice to know how good it is.

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  22. Yummy that cheesecake looks awesome:)

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  23. Hi Maybelle's Mom, I hope you are going to give in to it and give it a try :)

    Hi Usha, it does look yummy doesn't it?

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  24. Going raw is something that I'm pretty sure I couldn't stick to, but with cheesecake like that, it could be tempting!

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  25. Thanks for the wonderful insight...I followed your Raw links too, and it looks like such a healthy lifestyle. And that cheesecake looks so yummy! WOW.

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  26. That sure looks good! What did it taste like? Did it taste like a cheesecake, or something unique unto itself?

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  27. Hey Kitchenetta, Well it is creamy like cheesecake, but even richer, if you can imagine that. Even though it is healthier than a normal cheesecake, you wouldn't want to eat too much. The chocolate torte was really good too.

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  28. How interesting. I'm not proud of it, but I tend to be dismissive of vegan and/or raw food diets, mostly because the few individuals that I have known who follow them tend to eat bland, unhealthy, repetitive food. I'm really looking forward to checking out some of the blogs that you've listed... it would be great to learn how these food choices can be adopted successfully and wholesomely, instead of as a limiting constraint. Thanks for passing on this information!

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  29. wow - the colour of that cheesecake is amazing!
    Not sure I could cope with only eating raw food - how would you ever get to eat crisps and chips?

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  30. Hi Neen, I am glad the post has sparked an interest for you :)

    Hi CC, crips would be hard to give up, just because if I couldn't have them, I know I would start craving them like mad!

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  31. I could do raw if I had to, especially if this was on the menu!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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