Raw vegan? Raw vegan on a budget? What does that have to do with me?, I thought when I was asked to go to a lecture today at a local vegan/raw restaurant.
I seriously wondered whether or not I should go. I pulled out the old pendulum. Helicopter swing. Unequivocal 'YES'. So I went.
I pondered what to wear? I have been to psychic development class, been an undergraduate at Cal, spent last Halloween at Uncle Robert's End of Road in Pahoe...and never thought twice about 'fitting in'. Fortunately, I guessed right, and blended in.
The room was packed. I wasn't hungry when I left home, and on the road I realized perhaps I should have eaten lunch. There was food available. (if you ever go to a restaurant like this, recall the movement 'Slow Food'. It takes a while to get your order, but it's worth it. I found myself kind of looking to make sure I wasn't forgotten with my order. Don't worry. The food will come.)
I settled in next to two women I had never met at a table. I was surprised by how welcoming they were--offered me to share their tea and their dessert. I am not sure if it is the Raw Vegan or the Meetup that made everyone so friendly, but I enjoyed it, being welcomed to the event.
Now I was in my element--learning! I flipped through the packet. I always look ahead. I get bored listening to a speaker. So I read up. There were some important facts. I will give you a link to the speaker later. I also bought the book, and will give you a link to that too.
A big part about being on a budget is eating with the seasons. I laughed inside, because as a starving student at the college of chemistry in Berkeley, paying my way through school, I learned that one quick. I even found how to cook Brussels Sprouts which I hated at home, because they were the only thing I could afford back then. Mom majorly overcooked them. When they just turn emerald green they aren't that bad.
I also smiled because the charts of 'what is in season' are in my blood. My godfather and grandfather was a worker in the orchards back in Sicily. Sicilians are known for their simple food made from fresh, natural ingredients.
Then my doctor's eyes caught something that totally focused my attention: the speaker, a middle-aged african american woman, was in shape. By her height and build, and age, a patient in my O.R. would weight two hundred fifty pounds. She didn't. She was large, but trim. And healthy. Her skin had a glow. And her energy! It caught the Reiki Doc perception's attention too: sparkly, clean, and clear balanced energy system. Whatever she was doing was working right for her.
So what IS a Raw Vegan diet? It's not what you think. She says she is 'lazy', and here is a typical day for her:
- breakfast = smoothie, for example, two apples, five leaves of collard greens, a handful of raisins
- morning snack = ground nuts and dried fruit mixture
- lunch = a salad with some 'excitement'--nuts, color, flavor, texture
- afternoon snack = a couple of pieces of fresh fruit
- dinner = microgreens and other things mixed in, and maybe something 'sweet' for dessert
- tea = all day long, warm and enjoyable, herb tea
Apparently there are three levels of complexity for the raw vegan:
- simple = knife, cutting board, blender food preparation ('less than ten minutes' per the speaker)
- moderate = juicer, high end blender (kitchen aid has replacement parts), dehydrator use
- complex = restaurant chef type recipes that might take several days to prepare
What the gist of it is planning ahead, having an almost empty fridge (nutrients 'decay' somewhat with time, so it is better to 'buy what you will eat' and stick to that), staying 'on budget', and using the money that you save making memories that are worthwhile to you. This speaker is from Pennsylvania, and is growing microgreens in her kitchen! She has a garden to supplement what she buys too. Elegant solutions in a society where food is a big business--kind of like 'going of the grid'--I really like it!
I sensed myself 'loosening the shackles' as she spoke of less 'stuff' in the cupboards, less 'impulse buys' at the grocery store (a mean of sixty percent of all purchases at the grocery store are 'impulse buys'--and I think there is a proven behavioral scientific reason behind that, to make a profit), and 'eating what you like'--one woman realized she didn't enjoy peppers and onions and they kept going bad so she stopped buying them.
If you want to increase your Vibration, Raw Vegan might be a next step after getting rid of toxins (artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats) in your diet and going 'happy and local' with organic.
Caution: if your are immunosuppresed, or immunocompromised (take methotrexate, immuran, prograf or cell cept, have certain kinds of cancer like leukemia, or taking chemotherapy or radiation, possibly even on proton pump inhibitors for GERD/acid reflux because you have no acid in your stomach to kill any 'bugs') STOP!
Make sure you find yourself a smart Integrative Medicine doctor or oncologist. Be open and honest with them about what you want to do every step of the way. You have a lot to lose by being misinformed by whoever is wanting you to eat like this. Food can be a poison even to someone who is healthy, for example, mayonnaise-based salad that has been left in the sun. Make sure you take the time to learn safe handling techniques to prepare your food. Make sure you know who grows it. Make sure the choices you make are safe for you. It isn't an 'either-or' in this case. Your life is on the line. Do it right, and soon your health benefits will follow.
I saw the kitchen, just a glimpse at the restaurant while I was there the other day--there are big refrigerators and people wearing surgical caps and polyethylene gloves while making the food. An expert in food science, a chef, designed the entire operation. You don't want to get sick trying to be healthy. Just a little legwork in advance will do.
Am I going to try it? I don't know. But I am glad I went. I met some nice people and it was fun.
Here is the link to the home page of the speaker. February 4 is Online Boot Camp--very supported! http://rawfoodsonabudget.com/