What percentage raw are you?
Emily: I’d say 80-90%, some days less… some days more. It all depends on what I feel like I should eat that day.
How long have you been raw?
Emily: Um… 3 years-ish?
In your opinion what do you think are the main benefits of eating raw?
Emily: Hydration, nutrient density and fiber! All raw foods have a very high water content, especially juicy fruits. Also, when you leave foods raw, they usually retain the most nutrients (although some foods are best eaten lightly cooked, ex. steamed broccoli, because more nutrients become available. Read “Becoming Raw” by Brenda Davis, Rynn Berry, Vesanta Melina for more info on this).
What made you decide to go raw?
Emily: It wasn’t really a decision to “go raw” so much as it was a gradual realization that the more raw food I ate, the better I felt… and thus came the natural increase of those foods in my diet. I don’t see raw as a switch you turn on or off, I view it as an aspect of healthy living that every body could probably benefit from.
Would you recommend raw as a lifestyle or as a detox for a restricted period of time?
Emily: It depends. I think people have constructed a slightly misleading idea of “detox”. If you’re eating right, then your body is always detoxing! When it doesn’t have any diseases or illnesses to fight or toxic food to digest and get rid of (i.e. soda, fried meat) then it’s default action is to be cleaning your system up… it’s pretty awesome. So if you wanna “detox” – just eat a whole foods, plant based diet! It will be a slower detoxification process but ultimately that’s best for you. Extreme changes, generally speaking, aren’t good for the body. For me, my diet is very “clean” already (by that I mean I eat a whole foods, hydrating, plant based, predominantly raw diet). If I want to put my body through deeper detoxification than normal, I do a juice fast because that’s the only thing that’ll do it for me. But for the average person, slowly and comfortably changing their diet into a wholesome vegan-ish one is the best idea. If you want long term results, you need to make lifestyle changes.
Do you have a favourite raw food or recipe you want to share?
Emily: Simplicity is best… I love green smoothies, fresh papaya with lime juice, or dates and almond butter. But of course… who doesn’t want cake? Here’s a new fave recipe of mine:
VANILLA, RASPBERRY & PEPPERMINT CREAM CAKE with CACAO TRUFFLES
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 oats or almonds
1 cup dates
2 cups cashews
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup dates
1-2 tablespoons coconut nectar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 peeled orange
Water, as needed (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup dates
1 tablespoon cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Use this recipe.
To make the crust: pulse the hemp seeds and oats or almonds in a food processor until they turn into flour or crumbs. Add the dates and process until it all sticks together somewhat. Press in to the bottom of a lined cake pan (mine is adjustable and was about 7 inches). Put in the fridge.
To make the cream cake: blend all the ingredients together until smooth, EXCEPT the berries and mint. Take out one third of the mixture and pour onto your crust. Put back in the fridge. Take out half of the remaining mixture in the blender and set aside. Add the raspberries to the blender and blend until you get a smooth pink cream. Spread on top of your first layer and put back in the fridge. Put the remaining mixture (that you set aside a moment ago) back into the blender along with the mint leaves; blend until smooth and green. Spread evenly on top of the pink layer and keep in the fridge for 24-48 hours to let the cake set and flavours develop.
To make the truffles: put all the ingredients in your food processor and process until smooth and thick like frosting. Roll into balls and coat in cacao powder. Decorate your cake with these, as well as hemp and pumpkin seeds, if you like. Drizzle with chocolate and slice!
Any advice for anyone going raw for the first time?
Emily: Again, if thinking about it as “going raw” is intimidating, then don’t think about it that way! There is no pressure to fit a strict definition and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you “fall off the wagon”. I don’t like all the restrictive language in the health food world because if you eat a diet that doesn’t fit a label, you’re often judged negatively. I think you should to eat to FEEL GOOD, and preferably eat foods that are good for the planet and our animal buds. If you are interested in raw foods: start adding more organic fruits to your diet; in smoothies, at breakfast, in between meals… and eat LOTS of it. Check out farmers markets. Get creative. Add in raw veggies and hummus or raw dips as snacks, and experiment with my (or any) raw dessert and entree recipes. Buy or borrow some raw food cookbooks. Add a giant salad to dinner, and keep increasing the size until you don’t even want your main course. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and try to get in some moderate exercise everyday (even if it’s just a 15 minute power walk and some punch-dancing). Most importantly: be excited about and love what you are doing. If you won’t wanna do it, then it’s not gonna work. Do what works for YOU. <3
Check out Emily’s book – Rawsome Vegan Baking: An Un-cookbook for Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Beautiful and Sinfully Sweet Cookies, Cakes, Bars & Cupcakes. See here for more info!
— Green smoothie – mango, apple, banana, coconut, kale, ginger
— Hot water with lemon
— Salad – mixed greens, tomato, avocado, hemp seeds, linseeds, chic seeds plus tomato-basil sunflower seed pate
— Thai coconut curry with kelp noodles
— Rest of my green smoothie
— Handful of dried fruit and nuts
— 4 mejool dates
— Left over chocolate from last night!
How Are You Feeling?
Really great! A tiny bit nauseous again today. I had sprouts for the first time in ages today (and last night) so I’m wondering if there is a connection.