Graham's Daily Dozen
Now that I'm fully immersed in a high raw lifestyle, I'm frequently asked what I typically eat. Sometimes, this question is prompted by simple curiosity, because the person asking the question has only a faint idea what it means to follow a high raw diet; or it may be that the person asking has already begun incorporating more raw food into their daily diet and is looking for ideas and clues which will enable him or her to take it to the next step. In either case, it's a completely valid question which I'm always happy to answer. It's also worth pointing out that this is something of a 'moveable feast' (excuse the pun) since what might have been on the menu last week, last month, or last year, will often have been replaced by something else that I've discovered or veered towards, owing to what my body or my mind is urging me to eat. So, for the purpose of this blog, I will set out what a typical day looks like right now.
The logical place is to start with breakfast. This invariably involves a substantial smoothie bowl which consists of a variety of fruits including banana, pear or apple, orange, blueberries, and blackcurrants (yes, blackcurrants, one of my all-time favourite berries which are sadly so difficult to come by these days since the vast majority of cultivated blackcurrants are siphoned off to make mass-produced blackcurrant juice). I absolutely adore these little berries, their initial sharpness tempered by a hint of sweetness as they burst between the teeth. I am fortunate that I have found an all-round source of these little wonder berries from a local wholefoods store that orders them in for me frozen! But it's not just about the fruit. I may add spirulina, maca, turmeric and black pepper, cinnamon or ginger, depending on how the mood takes me. Then of course water, as this is the ideal medium for this cornucopia of delightfulness. Once decanted, I may then add a small sprinkle of cacao nibs, dried mulberries, goji berries and bee pollen. What a feast, and how filling this is. Nothing more is required until lunchtime, except perhaps an apple mid-morning if I'm feeling a little peckish.
Lunch invariably involves salad, and lots of it! What is included in the salad will generally depend on what is available in our local wholefoods shop or at the weekly pop-up shop on our development. I like leaves of any kind but am especially partial to crispy lettuce, rocket, and sorrel. Celery, fennel, asparagus, red or yellow pepper, spring onions, and tomatoes are also favourites. Then there's the herbs coriander, dill, parsley, basil and mint. The salad is then rounded off by a dressing, usually one of Annette's amazing concoctions that transforms the salad into something more blissful still! All freshly made from raw ingredients.
According to mood, instead of a salad, I might opt for a baked sweet potato which I like to fill with freshly-made bean hummus. We choose from a variety of beans which we soak overnight and cook in the morning, and regular favourites are pinto beans, black beans, cannellini beans and butter beans. Neither the potato or beans are raw of course, so I like to accompany them with a fresh side salad or sprouted seeds so that I'm eating at least something raw with each meal. This is what we like to call raw fusion, and the bottom line is that all ingredients are wholesome and healthy, with nothing refined or overly processed.
If I'm still not completely full, I like to finish off with a slice or two of my own seed bread which was inspired by a visit to Berlin. I like it so much, I vowed to replicate it on my return home, and I'm absolutely delighted with the outcome. It incorporates sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed, chia seeds, sesame seeds and shelled hemps seeds, sprouted oats ground into a flour, and molasses and this is mixed together and left to soak overnight. The resulting 'porridge' is then placed in a loaf tin and baked in the oven for around 45 minutes. It's got a gloriously nutty taste, it's free of gluten and has a satisfyingly crunchy crust and a nice soft interior. What could be better!
That brings us on to dinner (or tea, depending on your preference!). Again, salad takes centre stage, and this will usually involve a slightly different combination of what I had for lunch, and again including a sublime dressing thanks again to Annette and her inventiveness. I sometimes like to add a sprinkle of walnuts, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds to give it an extra crunch factor. Dessert may involve seed bread again, or a small portion of dried fruit. I'm very partial to figs!
I love to eat this way, it works for me, I rarely lack for energy, I go to bed early and rise early in the morning. If I do veer from this, for example when I eat out, or when I'm travelling, my body signals to me it's not happy, and I know that it's a way of telling me that what I eat day to day is good for me and allows me to function at my best.