Raw foods, like Paleo, is a diet that has been gaining popularity for a few years now. Raw foodists believe that eating uncooked or “live” foods is much healthier for the skin and body than “dead” or cooked foods because more nutrients are retained in the uncooked state. My first experience with raw foods happened while I was vacationing in tropical paradise, Palawan, Philippines. I happened upon a raw foods detox center that offered room and board, raw food meals, and education.
The raw foods holistic way of life lends itself towards a more “hippie” affair, with the facilities completely rid of toilet paper and normal amenities. Everything was eco products and washcloths, even well-water hand pumped every morning for cold baths with buckets.
The extreme lifestyle for a suburban first world girl was tough to get used to, but understanding was part of the detox! For two months, I lived and ate there with other short- or long-term dwellers. I can’t forget my favorite breakfast of banana and coconut milk blended with honey and cacao powder. Add seasonal avocados or papaya into the mix for variety and you’re gold.
It’s a simple, yet delicious staple for a healthy breakfast, added with green smoothies, often their “basic” tropical staple of bok choy, banana, coconut water, and perhaps pineapple.
Green smoothies are your typical “beginners” gateway to raw foods and serve as delicious, healthy drinks. They’re what most people think of when you hear “raw foods” and the biggest part of the fad. Raw foodists will swear by them, gradually increasing their green vegetable ratio as their palate allows.
Eating three raw food meals a day was like a treat. Every meal seemed gourmet, expertly crafted and made with loving intention. Despite the obvious uncooked nature of raw foods, I realized that preparing raw foods is often a longer process than some cooked meals! It takes creativity to make raw food spaghetti out of coconut and pesto (it sounds like a weird combination but its delicious!), raw food burgers with banana blossoms (little did I know until I first visited SE Asia that bananas grow on trees and start out as blossoms!), and even raw food pizza.
Yes, we even indulged in more decadent raw food ice cream, truffles, and various guiltless sweets.
My raw foods Christmas was celebrated with the best dessert “from the Gods” I’ve ever tasted, and lots of free-flow dancing from one of the European guests’ excellent music collection of ambient, chill out and electronica. Raw foods makes you feel energetic, vibrant and glowing, literally, as your skin starts to feel softer and younger. Some people say it is the fountain of youth.
That feeling you get from a good yoga session? That’s how it is to live in raw foods 24/7. Instead of the one hour buzz from a yoga class you get it every single day, all day!