Why raw? That’s a sensible question to ask someone on a 100% raw diet, right? My colleague asked me yesterday and I felt like I didn’t have a sensible answer. I mean, I could explain the logic behind nutrition loss during the cooking and processing of food. I could explain why raw food provides enzymes and vitamins optimally to our bodies. I could explain that eating locally sourced, whole, plant-based foods is not only a healthy choice but also an ethical one. But that doesn’t fully explain what I’m doing. So why am I doing this challenge?
I asked myself the same question a few times yesterday. The first time I was buttering my son’s toast and I had the most overwhelming urge to take a huge bite. It smelt so good. Really, does anything smell better than hot, buttered toast? I tut-tutted myself and got on with the morning routine. Around afternoon tea time at work my colleague walked in with a steaming hot latte. I may have given up caffeine years ago, but I still love a soy decaf latte, so that triggered another craving. Then that night when I cooked my son dinner, vegan nachos – yum! – the same thing happened, I really wanted to eat them. I mean I REALLY wanted to eat them.
Now, the wanting in itself is well and good, but it was my thinking alongside that wanting which was interesting. It illustrated why I have trouble sticking to my resolutions.
My thoughts started reasonably enough “ooh that smells so good, you know you want it”. That’s fair. Then they quickly spiraled down into total nihilism “why are you doing this raw thing anyway? Just have a little bit, what does it matter? Maybe this raw thing is a bad idea…” Negative, self-defeating thoughts. I’ve had them before, they have dogged me all my life. The inner critic, what a piece of work she is! Anyone who has tried to change a stubborn habit will relate to this.
I reminded myself I had committed to 21 days, 3 weeks. Surely I could stick to my resolution and give myself 3 weeks to see whether I thought there was merit in this way of eating. Besides I started this whole blog and all…
Notice how I still haven’t really answered the question. Is it enough to say I wanted to try something new? That I had identified my diet as needing an overhaul and I wanted to see if committing – REALLY committing, not just faffing around half doing things and then losing interest after a few days – to raw food would bring me the results I had read about?
I said at that start I would do this and see what happens. I purposely left that statement open-ended because I had an inkling that wild and wonderful things could happen. Not just as a result of eating raw, but as a result of risking change and committing to self-improvement. I believe such things create a force for good that goes beyond the immediate and physical.
So far I’ve had wonderful feedback from people reading my blog. Whether they be friends committing or recommitting to raw eating, or just enjoying reading. It’s lovely to feel I’m connecting with people. The offers of help and support have flooded in. I’ve been offered a juicer and a dehydrator (or at least some play-dates with one). And most importantly I’ve been overwhelmed with love and support from my friends (old and new). Amazing. This support has really helped keep me on track when the coffee, hot buttered toast, and freshly cooked nachos came calling my name.
So day 6, nearly one third of the way there. I’m grateful to be having this experience and curious to see how it unfolds next. Which is much better than toast and a latte and life staying the same, don’t you think?
Ah! It had been a challenging day. Some days just require chocolatey goodness. And this was one of them. Besides I needed to reward my commitment to this challenge.
This recipe is slightly adjusted to make it 100% raw from the great blog site The Gluten-free Vegan Girl. She makes amazing desserts and sweet treats. Not all raw, but vegan and delicious!
Homemade Vegan Nut Butter Cups
(makes 6 large / 12 small cups)
1 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup nut butter (see day 3 recipe– but use a mixture of raw nuts to get more flavor –almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans)
4-6 tbsp cacao powder
a pinch of maldon salt
1 cup dates
1 cup nut butter
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp maldon salt
Start with the nut filling. Process all the ingredients for the filling, except for the water, in a food processor until you have a smooth and creamy paste. Add in the water gradually if necessary. This mixture should be firm enough to roll into a ball. Do so and then set it aside in the refrigerator for now.
Next the chocolate layer. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a creamy paste. It will not be anything like regular melted chocolate and it should be easily pressed between your fingers without it sticking. Line a muffin pan with muffins cups. Grab about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate dough, roll it into a ball and press it between your palms. Carefully place this into the bottom of one of the muffin cup, making sure to press it down properly on the sides. Repeat, using about 2/3 of the dough, saving the remaining 1/3 of the dough for the lid.
Next grab about 1 tablespoon of the nut filling, roll it into a ball and press it gently until you have a flat ball, roughly the size of a cookie. It should be about twice as thick as the bottom chocolate layer. Now flatten the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate dough and place it on top of the nut layer. Make sure to press down the sides properly. Repeat on all of the cups and place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Serve immediately after removing it from the freezer. They are super yummy!