The Raw food movement started a good dozen years ago and I think of it as a "California thing." In the early days, I bought up a lot of the books and was jazzed by the idea, but found it got to be a bit tortured and time consumingâ¦the Guantanamo of Diets. You really needed a full time staff to make a long-term commitment to it. That, or eat out in one of LA's "Raw BARS."
Sustainable, Healthy, and Wise
What I did come to believe is that a raw meal a few times a week is sustainable, healthy, and wise. Even mixing more raw foods with cooked ones is extremely healthy. Although many foods are more nutritionally available after cooking, others are most nutritious raw. Many healthy living enzymes are killed off by heat so cooking them brings nothing to the table.
My thought is to have balance in life. Enjoy it all â the raw and the cooked.
Andy Reed brought all his goodies to put together a breakfast smoothie for us. I made one suggestion to the recipe: cut back on the water and add some ice cubes to make it chilled and fresh-tasting.
Takes Some Getting Used To
It was definitely something else, gotta say. But Andy Reed made of a point of saying that this diet isn't necessarily something you can just expect to grab onto. It takes some getting used to. "What used to not be attractive to me has changed. Now what I find flavorful is much more connected to what my body is telling me is healthy and good for me."
So, if you've ever had curiosity about the raw foods movement, this smoothie could be your gateway drug. Give it a shot!
RAW! Daily Smoothie
Here's Andy's recipe for a delicious alkalizing, oxygenating, hydrating daily smoothie, perfect for breakfast or as a snack:
Learn More: here's an excerpt from our complete interview with Andy Reed:
Daniel Orr: How did you get involved in raw foods and what peaked your interest in it?
Andy Reed: I slowly converted to raw foods over the last two years. With my background in healthy foods, I was largely interested in eating as healthy a diet as possible. I'm raw right now, but that doesn't mean I'll be raw for the rest of my life. Who I am is more important than what I eat. Your stress levels, your general passion in life, and your exercise are actually more important than your diet.
DO: It's a balance.
AR: I started to understand that foods have a lot of energy. There are certain foods that warm up the body, and certain foods that cool down the body.
DO: What does raw food mean to you? When you think of a raw food meal, what does that mean?
AR: For me, having the concepts of what is an inflammatory food and what is an acidifying food are essential. No matter what diet I'm on, I'm trying to eat an anti-inflammatory alcholyzing diet. The most intense version of that is a raw food diet. What I think of as raw foods is whole foods. And food that is still as alive as possible. Some people call the raw food diet the living food diet.
Breakfast: A Dream Meal
DO: So what does breakfast look like?
AR: For me, breakfast is my dream meal of the day! I love breakfast! Our body does most of our healing when we're asleep, so when we wake up we're little toxic dump-sites. So, I drink Â¾ pint of water with lemon juice, which immediately detoxifies my body. My dream breakfast is basically as many greens as I can stuff in my blender, and some fresh fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and if possible I get them in the raw form. I am still doing bananas just because the smoothies taste so good with the bananas.
DO: It adds that richness almost like a dairy product would have.
AR: Although, bananas are very high-glycemic. So, a lot of the most raw and living foods folks, especially if they're on the diet for health reasons, will go low-glycemic.
DO: Part of that sounds good, but mixing all those greens with the bananas. It's the spinach layer that I'm not sure about!
AR: It gets disguised! You know, what I used to not be attractive to me has changed. Now what I find flavorful is much more connected to what my body tells me is healthy and good for me.
Not A Religion
DO: I guess the more you wean yourself off the other stuff, the better this stuff tastes.
AR: I like the incorporation of new things as a model better than trying to eliminate old things. I find as I incorporate more healthy things into my diet, the unhealthy stuff just falls off. I'm not doing this as a religion. You know, if I feel like having some toasted nuts someday, I'm gonna have them! I try to stay as high in a living foods diet as I can just because the vibration of the food gives me more energy that way.
DO: All of this sounds really good to me â I could eat that way. I love all those ingredients. But what happens when you want to go out to dinner with friends or if you want to have a baked product? That must be hard to give up.
AR: For me, one of the most important things about the raw foods diet that allows me to stay on it is doing regularly emotional work with myself. We're so largely connected to food in an emotional sense that if there's some kind of obstacle going on with me, then what I want to do is revert back to my comfort foods. Just like any addiction, when there are obstacles between you and your divine spiritual experience, then you start to look for the things that are outside of what's most healthy. It's really a practice of self-love for me.
DO: How can someone work the raw food movement into their own lives if they don't have so much time on their hands?
AR: Since I'm not cooking any food, I'm actually saving time. You know, going out to eat takes a lot of timeâ¦ versus actually having something that's almost made in the fridge. So, what I do over the weekends when I have free time, I spend time doing food preparation.
DO: I suggest that people do that. Spend one of their days off prepping their food, whether raw food or cooked food. So I think that's a great idea and that's something our listeners can use.