Saturday, March 26, 2011

In the Raw

I confess I have been very skeptical when I hear about going all raw when it comes to food. I am not convinced that eating raw all the time is necessarily great for the digestive system. A few years ago I tried a wonderful recipe my mom gave me--it is basically broccoli, raw, marinated with lots of garlic and olive oil, that sits in a marinade for hours before you eat it. Delicious, yes, but not without some odiforous consequences and a little digestive discomfort (yes I know broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and lends itself to such effects, but certainly not as many as when I eat it cooked.)

Then two things happened. One, while in Boston I discovered a place called The Other Side Cafe and fell in love with their mock chicken salad plate, which I learned was totally raw (made from ground pecans, cashews & sunflower seeds mixed with cucumbers, celery and tart green apples--no soy or tempeh here!) I was amazed at how tasty it was, very satisfying with the hint of cashew lingering on the taste buds. For dessert I had the fresh fruit/chocolate mousse (made from raw cacao)which was a yummy meal in itself (I prefer to call it cold fondue on a plate! Such wonderful fruit--strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples. The mousse had a texture similar to chocolate sorbet, very smooth and rich). The Other Side offers a multtude of vegan choices though it is not exclusively a vegan cafe, and many of the dishes are raw. For example, for an appetizer, you can get the Raw Food Chips & Dip - slices of beet and carrot with a dip of blended macadamia & cashew w/garlic, lemon and Bragg’s. (FYI--for non-raw fans, they offer vegan chili, vegan BLTs, veggie burritos--I mean, a vegan has real choices at this place! Go there if you go to Boston--and if you don't mind loud music playing. It is located in the Back Bay. For more info, go to

The second item which gave me pause to consider incorporating raw food into my life is Kris Carr's book CRAZY SEXY DIET. You have to take seriously a woman who has kept a deadly cancer at bay for seven years with her diet. I am currently reading it--so much info to absorb, but it is so well written, I do recommend it to anyone looking to change what and how they eat. The recipes she includes in the back seem simple enough, and how hard can to be to eat raw at least once a day or so? My rabbits are natural raw vegans-seems to work for them. As I have said before, will say it ad nauseum--we can learn so much from our animal companions, if we just pay attention.

So dear readers of my blog, I would love some feedback from anyone out there who really endorses this way of eating and from others who have tried it and may be aren't keen on it. As I said, I could eat this way some of the time, but 100%--not so sure. It was hard enough in many ways to go vegan, going raw seems daunting. Of course, if someone had told me ten years ago that at this point in my life I would be vegan I would have laughed in his/her face. I look forward to getting some feedback/advice/raw cookbook recommendations, etc. Thanks in advance for your input!

The Hoppy Vegan

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