Whenever I give talks or seminars on raw foods, I like to ask the audience the following question: “what do you think of when I say the term raw vegan food?” More than a few people get a slightly anguished look on their faces and answer something like: “carrots,” “celery,” “salads” or “rabbit food.” To them raw vegan food or living food seems like it must be boring. After all, how much can you really do with raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds?
I wondered exactly the same thing back when I started getting into the living food lifestyle in Miami Beach about 10 years ago. Whenever my friends talked to me about it, I just couldn’t relate. Even though I was already a vegan at the time and ate quite a bit of fresh fruit and vegetables, a 100% living food diet seemed to me like it must be incredibly limited – and boring.
I held that view until one day when I went to a gathering sponsored by our local yoga center. It was a vegetarian potluck and all the dishes were cooked, except for 2 that my friends Ryan and Marisa brought. One was a living food lasagna and the other a live food apple pie. The presentation of both was beautiful – the lasagna sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and the pie topped by a white spiral of cashew cream.
The appetizing look of the food was only surpassed its remarkably fresh and vibrant taste. The lasagna had layers of fresh thick marinara, pine nut “cheese” and pumpkin seed pesto spread in between strips of zucchini “pasta” and was topped with fresh spinach. It tasted better and was more refined than any cooked lasagna I’d ever tried. The apple pie provided a similar taste explosion, with grated pink lady apples, chopped fresh walnuts and raisins atop an almond fig “crust.”
After such a remarkable culinary experience, I was impressed and intrigued enough to want to try more gourmet living foods dishes. Luckily for me there was a small company called “Food Without Fire,” that made and delivered gourmet living food meals 5 days a week. These included things like raw food “tacos,” “burgers and fries,” “chili,” “pad thai,” “chocolate mousse,” “carrot cake,” “cheese cake,” tiramisu and all sorts of specialty salads.
The meals were fantastic and made my transition to the living food lifestyle a breeze. After just 6 weeks eating Food Without Fire’s meals, I felt more energized and healthier than I ever had. So it was easy to continue my journey deeper into living foods.
Over the next couple of years, I discovered living food restaurants spread across the United States, from simple take away windows in Florida to high-end gourmet establishments in Northern California. There were also living food retreats, seminars and culinary schools to attend and enjoy. Those kinds of experiences made it easy for me to enjoy the benefits of eating a diet based on raw vegan foods.
I feel very lucky to have come across this information and to have had the opportunity to easily put it into practice. It has changed my relationship to food, to health and to the environment more deeply than I’ll probably ever know.
If you too are interested in experiencing the natural high of living on live foods, you’re living in the best time ever to do it. Never before have we had such easy access to this kind of life changing information.