Eating a healthy diet is something I have battled with most of my life. I have spent years at one end of the eating spectrum. I have been over nourished, underfed, neurotic about my health, and at times, could not care less about it. But when it all comes down to it, I’ve spent many years of my life being unhealthy. As a young teen I suffered from a lot of stress (like I’m sure all of you did) and often turned to food for comfort. I would usually eat too much and always the wrong things. High sugar, high caloric food with little or no nutrients were my crutch, and because of that I often felt terrible. The depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping from which I suffered were all in part aided by my poor diet. And in the vicious cycle that is bad habits, I felt so terrible about myself and my body that I would again turn to these foods that were making me ‘sick’, for comfort.
Once I reached 17, things took a drastically different turn. I would count every calorie of everything I ate. I would eat as little as I could each day and avoid going out with friends in case I had to eat something I didn’t want to, and would later feel guilty about. My cycles became irregular if they even occurred, my hair would fall out in large clumps, and I would often go to bed as soon as I could, as to avoid the sensation of being hungry.
After some help, hard work, and modification of my behaviour, I finally began to eat right by my early 20’s, but it was not easy. Every day I had to make myself eat nourishing and wholesome foods. I taught myself to listen to my body – to know when it was hungry and to know when it was full. Instead of ignoring that child inside me who spent so many years begging to be fed, I now listen to her. I listen to what she needs and wants to be a healthy and happy body. And the beautiful thing is, she never lies. Learning that I could eat something I used to consider “bad”, but knowing it’s okay to enjoy it, was the hardest thing I have learned to do. But, now that I am in my late 20’s I finally feel at peace with eating. Yes, I enjoy eating a treat every once and a while, but they no longer make me feel ravaged with guilt or make me want to starve myself latter. I now eat what I want to, when I want to, and I stop when my body tells me to. I listen, and she always answers.
These days I get so much satisfaction from eating a nutritious, mainly plant based, diet. I love to spend my days gathering new and exciting ingredients and finding fun ways to prepare them. Over the last two years, I have included more and more raw meals into our life. While they sometimes take a lot more energy to prepare, they are more often than not simple ways of eating fresh produce as close to it’s natural state as possible. For a fun little challenge I gave myself the goal of trying to eat raw for one day each week this summer (#rawfoodwednesdays). For many people this is a lifestyle that they are committed to, and for that they have my deepest respect, but for me this was just a challenge to test my creatively and to give the good ol’ body a break from cooked food.
For the next five weeks I am going to post three mostly raw recipes each Wednesday – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. These are just the major meals I eat each day. Not shown will be the copious amounts of fresh fruit, water, and veggies I will also eat. Many of these recipes contain a lot of seeds and or nuts, so be sure to listen to that little voice inside you if it starts to scream “no more seeds”.
If you need to talk to someone about your eating habits, please visit this website <3
This smoothie is a breath of fresh air! Like amazing tropical island air, scented with plumeria blossoms and the salty sea. While smoothies often contain frozen fruit, I find the fresh or thawed food is easier on peoples stomachs, especially first thing in the morning. If you only have frozen fruit, try adding a splash of boiling water to help bring up the base to a easier digestible temperature.
Breakfast – Revival Smoothie
Recipe: (Serves 1as a meal, or 2 as a snack)
Print it Here
1 Mango, peeled and pitted
Juice of 2 Oranges
A Pinch of Cayenne
A Pinch of Turmeric
Almond milk to thin.
1. Puree the fruit and the spices in a blender. Add enough almond milk to make it the desired consistency.
This hummus is great served along side veggie sticks or as the filling in a raw collard leaf wrap. I choose to use sunflower butter, but if you are a tahini fan feel free to try instead.
Lunch- Red Pepper Sunflower Hummus
Adapted from Ani Phyo
Recipe: Serves 2-4
Print it Here
2 Red Peppers, chopped (About 2 cups)
6 Tbsp. Sunflower Butter
1/4 cup Ground Almonds
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Tbsp. Psyllium Husk
Sea Salt to taste
1. Combine the peppers, sunflower butter, ground almonds, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Blend in the psyllium husk, being sure to mix it in well. Let the mixture thicken in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Garnish with sunflower seeds and a splash of olive oil. Serve with raw crackers or veggies.
The first time I ate a raw vegan taco, I was so sceptical of the whole experience. A meal made just of lettuce? I felt so shortchanged by not having my tortilla. But once you try a raw seed taco wrapped in a cabbage or lettuce leaf, you will surely be convinced of how amazing they are. Brimming with fresh and clean summer while simultaneously being incredibly filling (but not heavy), they make for a perfect hot weather meal.
Dinner – Fresh Summer Tacos
1. Using the lettuce or cabbage leaf as a shell, fill with a scoop of Oaxaca Sunflower Pâté, a scoop of Chopped Summer Salsa, a couple Avocado slices, and a drizzle of Cashew Sour Cream. A nice squeeze of lime juice just before serving adds a refreshing final touch.
Cashew Sour Cream
1 Cup Cashews, soaked overnight
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
6-8 Tbsp. Water
Pinch Sea Salt
1. Soak the cashews overnight. The next day, drain them and combine with the lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.
2. Puree the mixture in a blender adding as much water as you need to obtain a thick and creamy consistency.
Oaxaca Sunflower Pâté
1. Soak the sunflower seeds over night. The next day rinse them and combine them in a food processor with the tomato, onion, garlic, cumin, tamari, coriander, apple cider vinegar, paprika, chili and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture is combined, but not yet a paste.
Chopped Summer Salsa
1 Mango, peeled and chopped
2 Cups Chopped Tomato
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, grated
1 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper
1/2 Jalapeno, diced
Pinch Sea Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or lime juice if needed.