Raw Food Recipes: Inspiration

by Susan on September 1, 2010

I am having a hard time believing that it is September 1st. Waking up to a beautiful, refreshing breeze, I am reminded of my childhood. I was one of those kids. The one that couldn’t wait for school to start in the fall. Armed with my new pencils, fresh paper and a few new outfits to boot, I was always filled with excited anticipation. There was so much to learn about and I couldn’t wait to get started!

Last night I was asked how I got started with raw food and creating raw food recipes. I realized it was the same curiosity that I have carried since childhood, that set me on this path. I was introduced to raw food at a time in my life when I desperately needed a change. Something about raw food resonated in me and the journey began.

When I teach classes, I often tell the story about my first raw meal. I saw a TV show were the chef made a raw meal. It consisted of zucchini noodles and pureed tomatoes with some spices as the sauce. Excited to try this new food, I made the dish for my daughters and I. One bite and all three of us deemed it not edible. That was my first experience with a raw food recipe.

Even though the meal didn’t go well, the spark was ignited. I knew that many of the problems I was experiencing, weight gain, shortness of breath, chest pains, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, constant acid-reflux, combined with morning joint pain, and a constant feeling of low energy, were directly related to how I was eating. I was a foodie, a gourmet, a sommelier who had the pleasure of pairing wines for some of the best chefs. Their creations were amazing but decadent. The food was delicious, but not health promoting. I knew that I was in trouble and raw food looked to be the answer.

There in came the challenge. I already knew that raw food was healthy…now how to make it delicious. How to make it resemble the food I was used to eating, but in a much healthier way. The other challenge? How to make it easy. I can have a short attention span and recipes that required 24 ingredients, 7 steps and over 5 days of preparation just didn’t cut it for me. I started experimenting, and having success! I wanted to share this exciting journey and Rawmazing was born.

I often get asked where my inspiration comes from and what my creative process is. Inspiration comes directly from “main-stream” food. My deepest desire is to make food that everyone can recognize, easily make and enjoy. Food that is similar to the food that we are all used to eating so making the change to healthy versions doesn’t seem so dramatic. As far as my creative process, I always begin with the end in mind. I think food has to be beautiful as well as delicious so I start at the end, with a picture of the beautiful dish I want to make in my mind, and work backwards.

As you know, we are not 100% militant raw here. My goal is to encourage you to do as much as you can. Little steps or big leaps…all are welcome here. I will be launching some exciting new raw food  tools and publications this month. Watch for it.

I would love to hear what brought you to raw and your experiences with it! And also what your biggest challenge with raw is. What area do you need help with?

Happy September!!

*Note: We have had a major issue with the Photo 365 pages. So, I will be moving them to another place, and also starting a “food photography for bloggers” blog there! Also, we will have a store where all the photography will be for sale along with note cards and calendars!  Look for it in the next few days!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi! i love your blog, i read a bunch of raw food blogs and love them all, but yours is always beautiful with pictures that get me so excited to read each post! I have a question, I am an actor and i need to be thin, that’s just the way it is. I know that raw food will help with that, but I was wondering if you think I should be avoiding nuts and such because of their high fat content. I know they are “good fats” but is it still possible to have too much of a good thing? However, weightloss isn’t my reason for going raw. I’ve been vegan and still always felt bloated and had stomach issues my whole life, and now I finally feel terrific. I’m addicted to my morning green juice. But, basically what I’m asking is how much should one eat per day if we’re trying to lose weight the healthy, raw, way?

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Susan September 1, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Kate: I get emails almost daily from people asking me about weight and raw food. People are too thin on a raw food diet, people aren’t losing weight on their raw food diet. It points out that everyone is dramatically different. I wish I had the answer for you…but I think you will need to experiment with staying healthy, getting enough nutrients and maintaining the weight you want. And also to see if all three things are compatible. I am not in a position to counsel people individually on health or weight issues at this point.

That said, fat is essential to your diet. But you can over do anything. You might want to take a look at exactly what you are eating.

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McKenna September 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I love this site and I just found it last night. I’ve been dabbling in raw off and on for about a year. When I stuck with it for about one week, I felt soo good. I’ve always had issues with my digestion and the only time that it has ever been good, has been when I’m raw.
My goal is to try and be 70-80% raw for one month and see what difference it makes. I’m a new mommy with an amazing 6 month old son, so I’d like to be able to show him how he should treat his body and the planet.
Also, I’m very thankful that you make these recipes relatively easy because like you, I don’t like to spend days needing to prepare everything. Thanks so much for this site!

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Susan September 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I am gearing up for a 21 day 100% raw challenge. Watch the site and come and have fun with us!

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Nicola September 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Oh I am excited to hear there is another 21 day challenge coming up! I check your website everyday, and used to look at it while eating my cereal, yoghurt, fruit and milk – now I drink 2 glasses of green smoothie while I look! This website has really changed my diet, and inspires me to keep improving. Thanks so much Susan! Quick question – what would you recommend using to grind linseed? My Magimix won’t do it, and I’ve heard that they should be ground to get the most benefit, but that it is best not to buy it already ground! Also, should I try and grind chia seeds or are they OK as is?
With love, Nicola

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Susan September 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Chia seeds are fine used as they are. Linseed must be flax seed? Honestly, something like a coffee grinder works great. I use the vitamix with the dry container, also.

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McKenna September 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

When are you starting the new 21 day cleanse?

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Susan September 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I am thinking around the 15th. I will keep you posted. Maybe a little earlier.

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Dot D. September 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

Back in 2007 I became very ill. I had a number of health conditions hit me all at once, not the least of which was cancer. Having been a massage therapist, reflexologist, Reiki Master Teacher and general all-around holistic person, I couldn’t figure out why I was hit with all these health issues. Going back over the years, I realized that the only thing I hadn’t looked into was my diet.

Way back when I first started massage school, I learned of vegetarian eating and went that route for awhile. Didn’t last long because my family wanted to eat how we “use to.” Then in 2009, I received an email invitation to attend a raw food demonstration at a friend’s house. Looked like something I could “sink my teeth into” so I went. The food was all so yummy and easy to prepare – I was hooked. I took more classes and became certified in teaching it this past Spring.

I presently do not conduct classes because I am still learning about how to present foods and give talks. (I’m a little shy in that department.) I have a website which also advertises my reflexology and reiki services. I expect to talk to my clients about their diets during the beginning of their sessions on a one-to-one basis. That may help.

Right now I’m desparately trying to make up a menu plan to help my son (age 36) who has just come down with Fibromyalgia. I know it’s all dietary changes that he requires to rebalance, and educating all of my family along the way is my current goal.

Incidentally, when on the raw food diet plan I lost 10 pounds, reduced my diabetic condition back to normal levels, reduced my cholesterol count to near normal levels, gained energy, cleared my complexion and much more. So I’m a believer and thankful I discovered the truth.

I love this site for its beautiful photographs of food and nature, and the easy, delicious recipes contained within, because they inspire me to continue onward. I am 61 years young and plan to reverse all illness within. Thanks for this opportunity to share my story with your followers.

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Elizabeth September 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I was diagnosed with Cancer. After reading Crazy Sexy Cancer by Kris Carr it felt like going raw was the best treatment for me! It’s been quite a journey. The hardest part about staying on course is feeding my kids. I want them to have flexibility in their lives, so they eat a lot of raw food, but also cooked. Sometimes I find myself nibbling on their meals…

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Jodi September 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Always look forward to your beautiful photos and inspiring recipes.
Thank you for keeping it beautiful and simple.

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Joanna Rawvelous September 4, 2010 at 7:03 am

Fall is my absolute fav time of year! Thanks for your inspiration Susan, and looking forward to the 21 day challenge!

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Jessica September 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I found veganism after reading The China Study. This led to to raw. Even though I haven’t started eating “raw” I am in the process of learning more about it. I plan to start incorporating it into my current diet till I’m at least eating 90% raw. Thanks for your very informative website. I love the pictures especially!

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Elle (thewaybyelle.blogspot.com) September 5, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’m so glad that you put it all this way. I really want to go 90% raw, but it is so hard for me since I’m cooking for two who are carnivores (technically my husband is a flexivore), a three year-old, and myself. Often by the time I cook for them, I don’t have time to spend on food for myself. I also won’t be able to get them to go more vegetarian, vegan, or raw until I can make them food that is comparable to what they are used to eating. (I added a link to this post to my “best of blogs” for the week on my site!)

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Eco Mama September 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

YOU are a huge inspiration! Great backstory Susan, you are such a natural for creating the most intriguing healthy raw foods. My first encounters stemmed from just wanting to refine my already healthy diet and make it even more healthy. I wanted more energy specifically. And it works! I’m doing high raw and that works great for me. I think your creations demonstrate that healthy raw foods can be celebratory and decadent and even more exciting and delicious than the other stuff.
xo
Eco Mama

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Susan September 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Susan, your website is beautiful and the recipes work – they taste great and eating healthy does not feel like a chore! I appreciated your story about what brought you to raw. Since you asked, my biggest challenge with raw food is my metabolism. It is very fast and I lose weight very quickly such that friends and family are often worried. In the past, this has meant a lot of meat and diary although, lately I have found that whole grains, legumes and veggies with occassional meat and dairy support my body well. However, I am euphoric on raw food – literally – and want more of this. Tips for quick metabolism and also for blending raw and cooked – I find that it is either one or the other for me – neither being entirely sustainable so I’m looking for that balance. Finally, and forgive me if this is already on your website and I just haven’t seen it – a list on the time factors- “Thoughts about time, how to save it and still eat raw” – something like that – time saving secrets you’ve discovered, from soaking nuts ahead of time, to why some equipment fits better with a modern lifestyle than others, to the learning curve – how to eat raw and survive while learning and making lots of inedible mistakes, to what a daily cooking routing looks like. Thanks – and thanks for all the inspiration.

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Welovesuperfoods.com September 8, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I remember first trying a week of raw with my wife, Pia, and we were blown away by the massive increase in energy and inspiration. Its fun to think back at the transition into raw foods. For energy and to maintain weight, I think having your raw protein daily is important. We love protein smoothies in the morning!!

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