The New Year is less than 2 weeks away. Are you one of the many women who will set a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier? I had the pleasure of interviewing raw foodist, Cherie Anderson. If you’ve thought about cutting down on the amount of processed foods that you eat and increasing your consumption of whole foods, you’ll definitely want to read this!
What is the difference between veganism and raw foodism? Veganism is a lifestyle that seeks to exclude harming and exploiting animals in any way and extends beyond food choices and includes the practical avoidance of use of animals for entertainment, clothing, personal care products, and household products.
Raw foodism, by my definition, is a lifestyle that encompasses eating 80% or more by calories foods that are unheated/uncooked. Any raw fruits or vegetables are perfectly acceptable and should be eaten in abundance as well as some raw nuts and seeds. Certain gourmet dishes and even cooked-food textures can be obtained through dehydration and combining of certain foods. Some processed items such as agave nectar are labeled as raw and useful when creating desserts.
Whether these syrups are truly raw and healthful is debatable, but if you don’t base your entire diet around them, I think they are fine.
Some people may use vanilla extracts to flavor their desserts; I would use a scraped vanilla bean, as an example.
The important thing to remember, based on my experience, is that the benefits lie in basing a preponderance of your diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables.
How long have you been a raw foodist? I have been a raw foodist for 6 years and a vegan for 11 years.
Prior to becoming a raw foodist, I would say my diet (avoid these 4 diet mistakes) was around 50% raw by calories.
What are the health benefits of eating raw? The benefits for me personally are better moods/happiness, clearer skin, healing of scars/abrasions, more energy and stable energy throughout the day, enhanced brain function/thinking/memory, effortless weight management, increased athletic performance and strength.
Can you give examples of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas? I try to eat fairly simple for everyday meals and salt-free. Usually for potlucks and group get-togethers I will make something special, however. Breakfast will be green smoothies or green juice. A favorite green smoothie of mine is three pears, three bananas, and three cups of greens. Easy to remember! If I make something like orange juice, I will typically add collard greens or kale as well. Lunch is the same as breakfast. I carry a cooler with about 6-7 16-oz. smoothie or juice jars for my workdays. My caloric intake is around 3,000 calories per day. Dinner is a very large salad of a dark green leafy vegetable, sometimes wraps with romaine or collards as the tortillas, noodles made with zucchini. I like to make a salad dressing with avocado, red bell pepper blended together. I can’t think of many days I go without eating some tomatoes as well. Snacks are typically chopped up fresh fruit or nuts. Wrap ingredients can be cucumber, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers. Nuts and citrus fruits combined with herbs make great dressings and dips.
What are your favorite ingredients to use? Any fruits and green leafy vegetables.
How do you balance eating raw with work and social activities? If I am going somewhere that may not have an option for food for me, I bring food along. It’s been pretty easy. I don’t worry about what other people think of what I do; it’s my life, my body, my choice.
How do you deal with temptations to eat processed foods? I’d say that temptation was mostly diminished after two weeks of raw food. Cooked food is harder to digest for my body, so I also think about how I would feel if I ate that processed item. If I want a certain texture or flavor, I look for a raw way of achieving it. Google is amazing!
What advice would you give to someone who is concerned about getting enough protein in their diet? Actually look into the information of what’s in your food and calculate it and compare it in an accurate manner. That spinach salad with 1 cup of spinach appears to not have much or any protein because you are only eating 7 calories of food. Eat more! Look at nutritiondata.com. Eat plenty of greens and don’t restrict your calories. I have made a pasta dish with zucchini and a tomato-red bell pepper sauce before that had 80 g. of protein. That’s excessive for one meal – it lasted for two nights’ worth of dinners. Fitday.com is an excellent tool as well. Don’t rely on guesswork or marketing of big industries for your nutritional guidance.
For someone who is looking to incorporate more raw foods in their diet, how do you recommend that they get started? Start with your morning meal. Assuming it is a cooked dish, eat some fruit a half hour before on an empty stomach; or just replace that cooked meal with a large green smoothie. For lunch and dinner, eat a large salad before your cooked meal. Snack on nuts and fruit. You may need more fatty foods like nuts and seeds at first to get that “full” feeling. This should be an individually catered thing – your tastes may be different than mine, and that’s okay.
What are your favorite websites and books? Anything by Mimi Kirk or Ani Phyo (cut down or eliminate the oil and salt). This is really a hard question because the cookbooks are so varied and it depends on the circumstances. Matthew Kenney’s books are great for entertaining and gourmet meals but not everyday application. Youtube videos/personalities, I like FullyRaw, OkRaw (John Kohler), and Megan Elizabeth. John Kohler has been a raw foodist for 17 years and grows his own green leafy vegetables. I can’t say I have any favorite websites. If someone would like a recipe for a certain item, please ask and I will try to find ideas from my raw recipe books. Thank you for the interview and the opportunity to speak to your readers.
Lindsay is a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in working with women in their 20s and 30s. She runs a fun and supportive online community exclusively for 20 and 30-somethings who want to figure it all out and fall in love with their life. Lindsay enthusiastically helps her clients take their lives from searching to satisfied. Besides being passionate about coaching, she loves blogging, experimenting with green smoothie recipes, practicing yoga, exploring hiking trails, and purple nail polish.