This is a direct excerpt from my upcoming eBook Get Vital! Unleash Wild Energy & Radiant Beauty Using the Power of Raw Food, which I am excited to be releasing to you in a couple of weeks! Woohoo! For now, here is some handy information from the eBook on how to make your cleansing, raw lifestyle easy and simple for you. This article was also featured in the most recent edition of my Bloom Time eZine. Have you signed up yet? You can do so here.
“One of the best things and certainly one of my favourite things about this lifestyle is that you can have delicious meals every meal with very little effort, time and fuss in the kitchen. The fact that there is much less cooking means much less washing up for one and much less effort and time spent coordinating and timing dishes, unless you choose to spend extra time in the kitchen experimenting. Of course you could also choose to have a microwave meal or a pre-cooked chicken and some oven baked fries and that would be considered little effort. But if we are talking about eating for health, energy and radiance, then cleansing, raw meals are unbeatable for the ease and minimal effort required for preparation.
The simplicity of this way of eating ensures that food preparation is easy, quick and cheap – three things that are likely to have a huge impact on how smooth your transition to this lifestyle is and how much joy you find in it. I know that if I had to spend more than 15 minutes at a time in the kitchen, (unless I choose to) or if the food wasn’t delicious, I wouldn’t be interested! If time is scarce, what could be simpler than grabbing your favourite fruits or vegetables and sinking your teeth and hands into them? Or blending up a delicious and filling smoothie or soup in five minutes flat in your blender, including the preparation time?
If you want a bit more from your meals than these simple suggestions, you only need a little bit of preparation to ensure you always have a gorgeous meal on hand and ready to go. One of the best ways to do this is to make a large amount of a favourite dressing at the start of your week. You can store it in the fridge to pour liberally over all your salads or vegetable creations for the next three to five days. Then even if you only have some green leaves in the fridge or some carrots and beets to chop up, you can pour the dressing over and gobble up every last mouthful, plus second and third helpings!
Raw soups and smoothies will generally last in your fridge for up to three days if stored in an airtight container, plus chopped salads with some lemon juice squeezed over them to prevent oxidisation are an easy choice. You could also make a dessert every couple of weeks that you can freeze and dip into whenever you feel so inclined.
In all of my experience of living this lifestyle, I have never once felt tied to the kitchen to make something delicious and satisfying as I did when cooking food. In fact, the timing of different dishes to ensure they were all hot together and wouldn’t spoil stressed me out enormously. There are times when I am inspired and choose to spend a long time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes to flex my creativity muscles or to prepare more complex, gourmet raw recipes for a dinner party with non-raw friends. But really, that’s it, and it’s always a conscious, willing choice.
You may find you spend more time in the kitchen when first starting out with this lifestyle as you will be trying new flavours and recipes, but you will soon settle into a routine that suits you. As you do, your time in the kitchen will very likely be much less than ever before. This is one of the wonderful yet ironic parts of living a raw food lifestyle – after you settle into the flow of living this way the focus is less on the food than ever before as mental, emotional, physical and spiritual time and space is freed up for other pursuits and learning.
As you can see, with the focus on a cleansing diet of fresh, raw produce and lightly cooked vegetables, plus some “added extras” according to your personal tastes and dietary history, your needs become less. The cost of packaged food items, take-away, fast food, and those extras that can really empty out your wallet, are mostly eliminated (unless specifically desired) making this lifestyle very affordable. It can even provide a lot of savings for you if you honour the principles of simplicity and know how to be a a savvy shopper. You will also save a lot of money in doctor’s bills in the long run, not to mention the pain, days off work and feeling sorry for yourself that you’ll be avoiding!
I found that for the first couple of months of eating a cleansing diet high in raw foods, I spent more money than normal on food as I wasn’t very clear on quantities I needed and I was buying all sorts of different foods I hadn’t tried before so it added up to a higher weekly grocery bill. However, very quickly it began to go the other way as I sorted out what I did and didn’t like, what was easy to make, where to buy from and how much produce I needed. Now I spend far less on my food and drinks per week than ever before and I get better quality ingredients plus so much more nutrition every day that I’m sure my body thinks it must be in heaven!
A great way to start is by highlighting all the ingredients you like from my shopping list (not included here but dream up all the possible fruit and vegetables you like) and form three to five meals out of these that you are happy to eat for lunches and dinner for the week. That way you are not buying too many different ingredients all at once and probably saving wastage from having to throw some of these out.
Another point to watch out for is that many people who eat a diet high in raw foods buy a lot of expensive, packaged, gourmet raw products like convenience raw crackers and bars, expensive products marketed as superfoods, different flavoured powders for recipes and drinks and so on. While these foods are great fun to play around with and include in your diet for variety, and while they all have some nutritional value, it is by no means essential to include them in your regular diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are your superheroes so give them the attention they deserve. You will save a lot of money by not spending on gourmet foods and instead focusing on fresh fruit and vegetables to get maximum results at a very affordable cost.
If you still find you are overspending on food items, I suggest you look at your eating patterns and consider whether you overeat or purchase specific foods for emotional reasons. Satisfying emotional cravings can wash a lot of money down the drain in impulse purchases and leave you feeling disgusted with yourself in the process. Not fun! If this sounds like you, it would be worth looking deeper into the reasons behind your emotional eating patterns and addressing them. Until you face them and resolve them, the reliance on food for comfort will still be there and you will likely find it hard to stop over spending or spending unnecessarily. Reach out for support from a professional who can guide and mentor you to a more supportive relationship with food.”
This is a key topic in the Awaken Your Va-Va-VOOM group coaching program as so many people have a comfort relationship with food. It is also a topic I cover in my eBook Get Vital! in detail.
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(c) Copyright Casey Lorraine Thomas 2009
Casey Thomas, Raw Lifestyle Coach and Detox Counsellor, publishes “Bloom Time” – a free monthly eZine for health and energy-seekers and raw food lovers around the globe. If you’re ready to look and feel amazing and awaken your Va-Va-VOOM, get your FREE report, tips and guidance now at http://www.CaseyLorraine.com