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For the past many years, I’ve lived a “high raw” life and I’ve enjoyed it, thriving. Some periods were all raw (like recently when I did my 60 Day Raw Reboot), some days were mostly raw, and a sprinkling of days are moderately raw (all days are always vegan). I’m a big believer in listening to my body, taking it easy, and not stressing about food choices so long as I’m feeling good, and more often than not doing the right thing. The body has cycles. Rhythms. I go with them.
There’s no doubt though, that when I add more raw foods to my life, I feel amazing, as you might expect. I feel euphoric, on top of the world, extra lean, and I’m running on all cylinders with ease. It’s a great feeling. My cells dance. I have an undeniable sparkle in my eye. I get my groove on and it feeeeeeeels awesome. It’s really cool. I wake up happy and think, “Wow, I can’t wait to start my day!”
There are many ways that you can successfully stick to the raw diet with ease and I’m sharing a couple of them with you today.
1. Always Stocked Method: This style of raw food living is where you constantly load up on fresh produce and raw foods so that your kitchen is “always stocked” with just about anything you could want to make almost any recipe. You go to the market and just buy what looks good and fresh, without really thinking too much of how you’ll use it. Just load up!
When I live this style of raw, I spend a bit of my evening, before I fall asleep, thinking about what I might make the next day. I write down the possibilities based on my inventory (actually I use my iPhone notes app). Whether I stick to the plan or not the following day, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a guide, and it gives me ideas and motivation to stick to raw, while still allowing flexibility for changing tastes.
Pro Tips for staying stocked with raw foods: Have bags of raw granola, jars of different nuts and seeds, dried fruits, kale chips, nut butters, stashes of different snack bars (some bought, some homemade), and a nice diverse selection of plant based protein powders is fun. Use a dehydrator, if you have one, to make different kinds of crackers and breads. Fill your counters and refrigerator so they are bursting with fresh produce – all the time. With this style of raw, you can pretty much bet that you’ll go to the market 2 times a week for fresh fruits and veggies. For most of the other stuff (nuts, seeds, packaged foods) you can find things online for good deals. Buying in bulk helps save bucks.
Here’s how a typical day goes… Wake up and grab whatever is on hand for a delicious green juice or smoothie. No time? No worries… grab a couple bananas and an apple. A few hours pass… Maybe I feel like raw pizza? No problem… I have cracker crusts in my pantry. I have nuts I can quickly soak to make cheese. I have fresh tomatoes and basil to chop and spread on top. Voila! Raw Vegan Pizza. Oh.. I want soup? Easy. Load my blender up with fresh produce along with some homemade nut milk or nut butter, and I’m good to go. Perhaps I want to take it easy and sip on some green juice – awesome… grab some kale, celery, and cukes. Juice. Done. Can’t decide what to have? Ok… get started with a salad and go from there…. sprouts, bell pepper, carrots, olives, avocado… yum! Or maybe I want a hearty collard green bad-ass wrap – cool – I have all the fixin’s for that, too… sprouts, chopped lettuce, shredded beet, lime juice, olives, whip up some cashew cheese or spread some miso on it, add more veggies and a sprinkling of sea salt. See what I mean? Stay stocked with a variety of things and you’ll always have great options.
2. Effortless Pure Raw Food: This style of raw is how I’ve been living lately with my Raw Reboot. I wanted to focus on pure, simple raw foods. I made a list of options I could think of for raw foods that would be easy and enjoyable. Here’s a sampling… fresh fruit, veggies, quick dips, smoothies, green juice, protein shakes, easy raw soups, blended salads, regular salads, chopped salads, kelp noodles with pesto or delicious sauces, raw chocolate, sauerkraut/avocado/veggies in a bowl… you get the idea. Clean foods that don’t take much more than 10 minutes to prep. Make big batches so you have left overs to eat the following day. That’s effortless.
But, isn’t raw living expensive? I know some people ask me how I keep a kitchen stocked with the cost of some raw foods. Well, here is the thing. I’ve said this before. I gladly put my money and invest it in my health with raw foods. All organic. I really don’t think twice about it. I rarely get sick so there aren’t many doctor visits in my life. I don’t take prescriptions either. That saves money in the long run! And, to tell you the truth, I don’t really do a lot of shopping for things that many others shop for… instead I use my money for my kitchen and raw lifestyle. I buy appliances that keep my excitement running high for food prep. I get happy shivers down my spine when I load up with organic orange bell peppers or raw organic coconut water. I don’t drink fancy coffee drinks that many people spend hundreds of dollars on a month… instead I spend that money on goji berries, pili nuts (yes, that’s “pili”), my stone grinding nut butter machine for my own raw butters that make me weak in the knees, raw cacao (lots), and other dazzling raw goodies.
Also… I buy in bulk. This cuts down on the cost. You can split the foods with friends if buying in bulk is too much. I also look for things on sale. We don’t eat out much. In Kris Carr’s book, Crazy Sexy Diet, she calculates the cost of eating fast food for the day and it amounts to about $20 a person. That’s not cheap – and that’s fast food! By making my meals at home, even when I use more expensive products because they’re organic, it’s not unreasonable.
Plus. When it comes to the holidays and my birthday, I am not shy about telling people exactly what I want whether it’s a shiny new juicer, a gift card to Amazon to help me save for an appliance or get this… I ask for gift cards to Whole Foods. I know… some people want to scream LAME! Heck no – I love it! I’ve also redeemed credit card rewards for Amazon.com gift cards, and then used those on raw food appliances and supplies.
Bottom line – I want to live until I’m at least 100 years of age. I want to be healthy for my family for all of my years. I want my husband to be there with me every step of the way. How do we reach that goal? EATING HEALTHY! It’s our priority and we live it.
Image Source: Sahua d./Flickr