Monday, September 23, 2013

Nothing Cures the "Blah" Like the "Raw"

Chef Areeya's amazing feast at the Go Raw Cafe
Yesterday, I attended Chef Areeya's Go Raw Prep Class, and learned to make Herbed Cream of Celery Soup, Arugula Kale Salad with Sweet Tart Banana Vinaigrette, Savory Garlic Cheez Pate with Sweet Crackers, Parmazan Zucchini Boat with Neat Bruschetta, and Vanilla Ice Banana Split.

It was amazing, yet again.  Chef Areeya has a real talent for raw flavor.  Her next class will be October 27, at the Go Raw Cafe Westside location.  If you are a raw foodist and are in Las Vegas, I highly recommend it.   Eat lightly the morning of the class, because the raw food that Chef Areeya serves is very satisfying.  You will not leave hungry.

Recently, I've been "going off the rails" a bit with my eating habits.  It's not that we haven't been eating raw food, because we've never stopped our morning habit of green smoothies and huge fresh salads.  It's just that life is complicated, and other priorities have led to some relaxing of standards.  Also, my raw diet was a bit off-balance, as I'll describe later, and that made it harder to resist certain temptations.

As a result, I was feeling a bit "blah" and a bit disconnected when I walked into the Go Raw Cafe yesterday.  But I walked out feeling so much better!  Nothing cures the "blah" like the "raw."

Sorry.  Couldn't help it.

Anyway, it's still amazing how eating raw makes you feel better, inside and out, top to toes.

After arriving home, I saw this YouTube video of John Kohler interviewing Dr. Douglas Graham.  Dr. Graham is the author of the book, "The 80/10/10 Diet."  The video contains some very valuable advice.  The biggest thing that I took away from the video is that if half of what you eat in volume is vegetables, you will be healthier.  The video doesn't address the other half, but honestly no matter what a person's eating habits are - raw or cooked, paleo or vegan, whole or  SAD, if half of the diet is vegetables, the person will be more healthy.

As a person who came from years of eating an evening meal that consisted of a main course, a vegetable and a starch, I found this useful.   When trying very hard to transition to a plant based diet, and especially trying to be as raw as possible, that old paradigm doesn't quite work as well.  Lately I've been off-balance, eating way too much fruit in ratio to vegetables, which helped lead to the "going off the rails" problem I described above.  But I can visualize a plate that is half filled with vegetables.  That's easy.

I haven't read Dr. Graham's book yet, but after seeing this video I'd like to.  In the past I've thought that the 80/10/10 diet didn't seem right for me partly because I like to eat sprouted grains, and I read that this diet excludes those foods. However, even if I disagree with some of the opinions in the book, it's worthwhile if some of the information is useful.

Inspired by yesterday's terrific raw experiences, I've decided to set some raw goals for this week.  I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't achieve them, but will do my best.  Here they are, in no particular order:

1.   Stay on budget.

2.  Use everything before it spoils (that will help with #1)

3.  Drink LOTS of water.  (The water bottle will never be empty)

4.  Strive for 50% vegetables by volume in our meals.

5.  Make at least one healthy raw treat for the kids.  Even if it's fudge or cookies and loaded with dates, if it's healthier and they'll eat it, that's a step.

6.  Strive for at least 80% raw and 100% plant based except for local honey.

7.  Include the following dishes in a balanced menu this week:  The creative recipes in the September prep class by Chef Areeya, the Blueberry Ice Cream with Coconut Macaroon Crunch by Heather Pace of Sweetly Raw, the Peach Salsa with Veggie Crackers by Susan at Rawmazing, the Chia Porridge, Chard Pockets, Barbeque, and Froodles and Meatballs, (no meat) by Lisa Viger at Raw on $10 A Day, and the Black Pepper Honey Ginger Chewy Granola by Amie Sue at Nouveau Raw.

8.  Include in the diet all of the healthy components such as:  Lots of fresh leafy greens, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, citrus, brassicas, and smaller amounts of nuts and seeds rich in fatty acids.


  1. Right on! Thank so much for the love Chas!


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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?