Raw Is Not Difficult!

by Susan on June 15, 2010

At what point do we start realizing how important what we eat is to our quality of life. I was listening to Dr Christiane Northrup, MD, author of “Women’s Health, Women’s Wisdom”. She stated, “What we eat and exercise are the single most important things we can do for our health”.

I was informed by a good friend of mine that she and a friend were looking at the Rawmazing.com site the other day. How on earth do you eat like that. It is so hard and complicated! And the ingredients are so exotic…where on earth do you buy all of that stuff.

I sat, mystified. Was she really looking at my site? My *I am impatient in the kitchen site*? My *I need my food to be simple site*? It couldn’t be MY site…but it was.

There is a huge misconception among traditional diet eaters that raw is more difficult and time consuming than traditional cooking. I can honestly say, I spend less time actually preparing my raw food than when I made cooked food. I am not including dehydration time but that is just a matter of planning. I am talking about actual food handling time.

Many of the raw food recipes here are very easy to make and require very few ingredients. You can find raw food recipes that have a large number of ingredients, just like some traditional recipes can contain a lot of ingredients. If you want quick and easy, choose simple recipes.

My daughter was home for the last few weeks. She is a vegetarian, loves raw but still wants her veggie sausages in the morning. I bought a box from the coop. The next morning, I opened the cardboard box, and plastic packets, containing the sausage fell out. I opened them and dropped the sausage into the fry pan. It felt amazingly foreign to me. This “making of food” without ever touching one ingredient.

It felt so strange, so foreign. That’s when it hit me. There are a lot of people who’s idea of cooking involves opening a box. It is a different kind of fast food. No wonder why people think that actually touching fresh ingredients, cutting the vegetables, creating a raw meal is time consuming.

Along with this “fast box” mentality has come a fast decline in our health. Since we are an “I want it now” society, the need for instant gratification overwhelms the inner knowledge that this fast answer could create some really bad, very time consuming health problems down the road.

So, when you are contemplating the difficulty of incorporating more raw foods into your lifestyle, think of the big picture. The future picture. Know that taking a little more time with your food now could save you in the future.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick June 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

that is one of the best posts i’ve read in ages, and i agree on all fronts. i am amazed at the questions i get when people hear me labeled as vegan, or high-raw, or a raw foodie. Everything from “well what do you eat” to “how can you afford to eat this way?” People would rather stay ignorant than just do a little research to see how easy and accomodating our lifestyle truly is!

again, fantastic post! :)

MB June 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I am a fellow raw vegan who agrees with those critisms of raw diets. Sometimes it’s easy. Whipping up a raw cobbler for breakfast, easy! But making chocolate crepes…not so much.
I can’t afford a good dehydrator and so I have had to avoid anything dehydrated (my oven doesn’t give me good results). And since I am working full-time and parenting full-time, I just don’t find the time to plan ahead. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t eat what was on the meal plan because I forgot to soak nuts or whatever.
It does require a level of organisation that I don’t have time for right now. BUT…
There ARE easy recipes and there ARE less dishes to clean afterwards etc. And I LOVE the way that my body feels on raw. And so, I am devoted to the lifestyle even if it means I have to plan further ahead.
And it does get expensive too. Especially when I am making dessert. I don’t know if everyone experiences this but I have to pay about $2.25/lb for raw cashews or walnuts. That makes for a really expensive dessert.
I know it is worth it. And the fact that it does cost so much does mean I eat smaller portions. But I do understand where people are coming from. The veggies don’t bring the price up that much but the nuts sure do.

Pam June 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Great post!

Susan June 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

MB: Wow, 2.25 for raw cashews is a great price in my world The cheapest I can find them is 5.89. But most desserts don’t call for an entire pound. So think of it in those terms. Also, I have really started doing a lot of comparison shopping. I can find golden flax seeds anywhere from 1.99/lb all the way up to 2.49. There are amazing deals to be found online, also. And they are delivered to your door.

Zemira June 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

While I agree with you for the most part, I’ve found myself a bit stumped at making a full commitment to the raw food lifestyle. Let’s face it, eating %100 raw is extreme in a society that still barely understands the missing nutrient quality of its own conventional diet. Also it’s still true that not all ingredients are easy to find (and I shop only organic). I haven’t yet found raw oat flour locally (purchasing food items on-line feels like burning cash with the shipping charges)or more choice with high quality raw agave syrup. The expense of buying a dehydrator plus finding a place for it is not a small matter either. All this can seem complicated (it’s been frustrating!)especially when one isn’t certain of the longevity of such a lifestyle for oneself. Will I actually like it? I was once a macrobiotic too.

Susan June 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I would recommend starting with the simpler stuff that doesn’t require the equipment. For me, mail order is a godsend. There are only a few things that I mail order but it is worth the extra cost to me. It’s funny, we are so used to having such cheap food available that we have a mindset. I think it is time to start seeing the value in those products, not just the expense. :-)

kelli June 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

in our society we have been conditioned to “invest” in our health via health insurance. i skip the health insurance and use that money to buy the best quality food possible. sometimes the food is “expensive”, but hey, so are medical bills!=)

Kat (My Fruity Life) June 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Great post…today the most I’ve done for my food preparation is to wash, then eat. Couldn’t be more easy than that! And I know for sure I spend under $10/day on my food. It can be done.

Susan June 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Zemira: It is interesting, there are not many people out there any more that push 100% raw. I certainly don’t, but encourage people to incorporate as much as they can into their diets.

Ashley June 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm

This is a wonderful post. I get the question of “what do you eat?” “doesn’t it take so much of your time?” all the time. I think so many people are accustomed quick boxed meals that they have forgotten what actually goes into them! That is one of my favorite aspects of eating raw; knowing, seeing, and working with every ingredient that goes into my meals! It may take a period of adjustment, but preparing raw food can really help simplify your life.

Mel June 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

Haha that reminds me of the other day, my friend made herself a full cooked breakfast and i just chopped up some fruit and threw it in the blender – she looked at me baffled and said ‘you’re lifestyle requires a lot of hard work, I couldnt do it’ ..well not really, but there’s a reason they call it ‘slaving over a hot stove’

The things I dont like about raw uncooking is the planning – I can’t plan ahead, which is why i live a lot of juices. But when I’m preparing food it usually goes into my blender or food processor – maybe even the dehydrator – there is very little manual work for me, except maybe if my cheap blender cant mix something and I have to scoop a bit.

Oh if the fifties housewives were raw how easy their lives would have been.

Barbcam June 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

Great comments by all! I for one refuse to label myself as anything concerning my diet–I also don’t believe in completely eliminating any one thing from my diet. I try, like you said, Susan, to incorporate as many raw fresh organic whole foods in to my family’s diet as possible. I have been High Raw for the last 6 months and have made it work with raising 2 young kids and working full time. I have had some bouts of low energy during this time. So, now I’m trying to incorporate some cooked foods, which helps at dinner time because my husband and children are not raw. What could be simpler than green smoothies and huge wonderful salads for 2 meals (no dehydrator required) and a simple cooked dinner with raw sides? It works for me. Just the process of learning about the raw foods lifestyle has completely changed the way I look at food and feeding my family who are the most precious things to me. I have tried many of your recipes, Susan, and they have all been WONDERFUL. Just nothing requiring a dehydrator–I’m not ready to go there just yet.

Dot D. June 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

MB, I am paying upwards of $12-$14/lb. on nuts and seeds on the East Coast at Whole Foods stores, so I’d love to get them wherever you purchase them! Mail ordering is a bit better for me.

You can pre-soak your nuts and seeds on the day you buy them, let them air-dry a bit, then store them in containers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days if that helps. I’m also told that nuts can be left in the dehydrator for days/weeks and nothing will go bad!! Raw/Vegan restaurants do this.

Best wishes keeping Raw!

Dot D. June 16, 2010 at 10:11 am

Susan, I appreciate your articles and agree with them. I’m a Newbie at being Raw and not at the point of “full tilt” but my body knows it is best for me to continue with it. I have taken classes and an going to teach it in the fall. Just set up my website. I always give your site a plug to all my classmates and friends. Would you like me to list it on my website as well?

Thanks for being there. You are a good support for me and I look forward to all your communcations. Till next time………

Diane June 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

I think it’s more the perception of more complicated recipes or more time in the kitchen. I’m probably 60/40 raw/cooked right now, and a top quality blender has helped tremendously. When I “cook,” it’s typically very simple, like steamed veggies, poached eggs, or maybe a quick lentil soup, so I don’t find prep time to be much different between the two. I do agree about the planning, though, with raw, even without a dehydrator – anytime I bring fresh produce into the house, 9 times out of 10 I wind up chucking at least 1/3 of it because I get too busy to do make whatever recipe I’d planned for. My raw right now is primarily green smoothies and salads because anything more complicated than that typically doesn’t happen.

sarah June 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

This is so true, I was at orientation for a new job yesterday and in one example, a birthday cake for a party, they were talking about how we have gone from gathering fresh ingredients to make a cake, to buying cake mix in a box, to buying a cake from a bakery. We are so busy these days we do very little from “scratch.” Most kids these days would consider baking a cake from a box, making one from “scratch.”

scherry valentine June 16, 2010 at 10:36 am

Great post. I agree with you. Friends have said the same things to me. I just look at them and say, ” Not really. ” Or I get the ” That diet seems so restrictive.” And again perplexed I say, ” But I eat constantly, as much as I want, all day long and lose weight! ” Just keep blogging and rawing and eventually everyone else will catch up. Oh, think of the complexity of weighing and counting everything, yikes!

MB June 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm

LOL.

I think I meant to say per 100g not per pound. Pound would be nice wouldn’t it?

Jodie Bonfrer June 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I read with interest the comments and like to ad something.
I’m a 69 years old male from New Zealand ,and have always avoided processed foods.
I have not been sick for over thirty years and are very very fit and healthy.
Six years ago I met a nice lady and started living together.
She is a diabetic and insulin depended I said you have to lose weight to get of her diabetic
I was toled diabetic was not reversible but did some research and came to the conclusion that the meat and dairy products are the problem.
a few months ago I started us on a complete raw diet and she now uses less and less insulin we saw the doctor the other day and she had lost weight her blood pressure was normal and her cholesterol was perfect it shows that it really really works and I’m sure I will get her diabetic sorted .
I have One happy lady now as she feels great and has hope for the future to be insulin free .
Hope more people will take note of our lead and start eating healthy.
the doctor said she has not seen a 69 years old as healthy and fit as I’m for a long time.
She said it’s hard to believe I’m 69 .
Another thing I like to add is make sure you expose you body to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day as it will protect you from getting cancer

Elizabeth June 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Pay now or Pay Later. I am also baffled by people who think this lifestyle is so difficult. But I have compassion too. It really takes a whole NEW way of thinking to prepare foods this way. I’ve been raw for two years, 100% for extended periods of time, and I still, sometimes stand in my kitchen thinking how easy it would be to eat a veggie burger right now. (And sometimes I do). But I always feel better when I don’t.
In fact the longer I have been doing the raw thing the less complicated it gets. I crave simple meals like a smoothie or a salad or beautiful greens, kelp noodles, tomatoes and sprouted/seasoned/dehydrated seeds or I break open an avocado and dive in with a spoon.
Susan I love this article. It’s so important that we talk about this over and over again. It takes a while to break free of how we all learned to prepare foods on the SAD.

elizabeth June 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I’ve been RAW for close to a year and can honestly say it is the best thing I have done for myself. Yes, you have to think about what you are going to prepare for dinner, but the rewards are tenfold. I have never felt so alive, and at 55, I’m running marathons and loving it. As a Registered Nurse, I get on my soap box to all my patients, (who will listen) and explain this simple concept of eating raw.
PS: My dinner is in the dehydrator now, tomato slices with a nut cheese/basil in between, drizzled with EVOO, garlic & sea salt. Yummy!!

Jodie Bonfrer June 17, 2010 at 2:53 am

That sounds real yummy Elizabeth.
I just made a yummy chocolate mousse and it taste better than the dairy stuff.
I find most of the raw food much yummier than cooked food .
Made a nice soup the other day just boiled the water turned of the heat and put all the soup mix in it in one go so it cooled it down real fast and than I served it all veggies nice and crunchy but nice and warm.
any body ever made a tofu yogert at all I made it this week wow so yummy.

Jodie Bonfrer June 17, 2010 at 2:56 am

Saw some of the comments with a picture of the person who did the comment.
How can I ad a picture with my comments?

Susan June 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

I honestly have no idea about the picture. I don’t have access to that from my end. Anyone?

Stacey June 17, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hi Susan-I’m not sure how I found your site but I’m glad I did. Recipes are wonderful and unique, your commentary is very thoughtful and the photos are lovely. I started raw in earnest (75-80%, I figure) in April. Had found the Green Smoothie ladies from Cananda somehow, and started there. Toyed with raw after finding the Kenney/Melngailis book in 2007, great recipes for now and then, but too complicated for regular use. With 10 lbs of weight loss in the first month or so, I feel so much better. It’s a lifestyle change for sure (I was already vegetarian) but it doesn’t feel like denial. It helps that it’s warm outside and that the garden is planted, but it’s true, there’s less time in the kitchen (I’m an avid cook and used to own a wholesale bakery) and easy cleanup. It feels great to be reacquainted with produce and to handle it so lightly with such groovy results. I hope folks at least incorporate more raw stuff into their diets, not with an extreme attitude of all raw or nothing. The best advice is to go gradually into any change. Oh, and to have fun!!

Susan June 17, 2010 at 8:13 am

Stacey, I couldn’t have said it better!

Kristen Magno June 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I’m on my way to a high raw diet, and when I say I have little to no time in the kitchen, I mean it…with a 3 hour commute and 9 hour workdays…a new puppy, trying to fit in walk time for the dogs and yoga for myself…going 100% raw right now would be overwhelming, so I started this month with raw breakfasts…I drink a green smoothie or green juice every morning. I included a large salad with dinner (I’m already vegan)…and have already lost 3 pounds in 2 weeks…just by going raw for breakfast…and I have a ton more energy…so if someone wants to try the raw diet I suggest starting with one meal and working your way up from there…maybe also including some raw snacks and/or raw deserts. :)

Kristen Magno June 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

ps. gorgeous photography…I’m beginning my journey in photography and loving it…your photos are amazing…did you take formal classes or are you self-taught?

Susan June 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Thanks! I am self-taught.

mary June 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I loved the post. I have been at least 80% raw for about 3 months now and I have to say it has been a bit getting used to. It’s kind of like learning how to eat and prepare foods all over again. I started raw because no matter how “clean” my diet was I still didn’t feel “great”. I considered my previous diet to be pretty healthy. I just felt that there must be a way to feel less tired, less digestive problems and more alert. After 3 months my nails and hair look fantastic, I’m less tired, skin looks great, i have no bloating and better digestion and lost some weight. I won’t ever go back to my other lifestyle of eating. Yes it takes a bit of work and a bit of planning but it’s soooo worth it. I treat cancer patients for a living and really feel if half my patients ate a raw diet they wouldn’t have half their illnesses. So, I’m with you Rawamazing! Keep spreading the good word!

MB June 18, 2010 at 10:10 am

The reason I get a photo is because I have a wordpress blog myself (Rawmazing is powered by Wordpress). And so when I sign in to wordpress it uses my display picture from my own blog to add to my comment. You aren’t doing anything incorrectly Jodie. It’s just the way it is. If this was not a Wordpress site I would have the same thing beside my name as everyone else. :)

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