I LOVE getting email regarding this website/blog. I have a few faithful followers who are full of questions, which is so much fun. I have had a few questions that I want to share with you.
Q: Is the peach/apple sauce recipe you posted possible to make in a normal "cheap blender" vs one of the $300 blenders that you have?
A: While I love my Vitamix and can't imagine life without it...it was expensive. I know several raw foodies that use regular blenders. One of my good friends has a pretty cheap Walmart blender that she uses hardcore and does the job. There are only two differences when making smoothies and sauces/dips: it won't get quite as smooth as mine (which is okay...applesauces are nice a little chunky), and you won't break down the chlorophyll in the greens as well (they have very strong cell walls), but ANY raw food is better than none. Do NOT allow appliances to hold you back from health!
Most raw recipes require one of three appliances: blender, food processor, dehydrator. Now I own the top notch stuff because those are the ONLY appliances I will use. I don't have to buy an expensive stove, coffee maker, toaster oven, pots/pans, microwave, roaster, etc. AND, I use these daily. My blender also grinds nuts, seeds, and grains to make flour/meal, as well as blending so fast it warms up my soup (I actually have to be careful not to cook with it!). But if you aren't using your blender for these types of things, you can buy your flour or meal already prepared and stick with your current blender. As for a food processor, I found a wonderfully expensive Cuisinart on craigslist...unopened in box for half the selling price in the department stores. Notice a trend? Craigslist for my processor and my blender is the refurbished, two year old style. :) When you get to fun recipes that require a dehydrator, there are several other ways to dehydrate without breaking the bank. First, if you live in Arizona..the weather is completely suitable. I have been softening/dehydrating my squash lately by putting it into a casserole dish covered with foil and leaving it in the sun for a few hours. Voila! OR...depending on your make of oven/stove...some have a "warm" setting. You might want to check just how warm it gets (meat thermometer works fine), and try to keep it under 115 degrees to retain as much nutrition as possible (I WILL finish the page explaining this).
So do you need to go out and buy fancy equipment to make the recipes I enjoy? NO! There are always ways to make your current appliances work. Nuts and dried fruit not getting processed like you were hoping? Soak them first! Food getting stuck? Add a liquid! I'll go into those in another post, but feel free to ask more questions regarding this!
Q: I don't think I can go completely raw like you, I don't think I can give up meat completely, and definitely not bread. How can I go partially raw to receive the most benefits, without going all the way?
A: There are THREE easy ways to begin to add more raw foods into your diet. You don't have to do all three, but feel free to do so! The first one is my favorite and I totally use it with my family.
1. Eat ONE piece (or more, if you choose) of fruit before every meal. This way you add more and more to your diet, while still eating whatever you like. However, it will help to fill you up, so you eat less and less of the non-raw foods. Not to mention, this will not hurt your wallet...especially if you check to see what fruit is on sale in your area, or price match...
2. Replace one of your meals (the smallest one of your day: breakfast, lunch, etc.) with a green smoothie. Smoothie, not juice, because it contains the fiber and will fill you up as you drink it. You take a few leaves of greens, a few pieces of fruit, blend them all together and sip it slowly over an hour or so. THIS will provide the most benefits and changes...greens are powerful healers. They contain TONS of wonderful minerals and vitamins: iron, calcium, proteins, vitamins A, C, Bs, and all the other ones. Check out my Green Smoothies page and click on each green to find out what the benefits of each are. Not only will this fortify your body with whatever nutrition you are lacking, but it will improve your digestive health, your skin, and will help rehydrate you as well. Most of us don't drink enough water...well, not only is there lots of water/ice in your smoothie, but the fruit content is mostly water as well.
3. Try to eat one meal raw, or two meals. Hallelujah Acres is a raw food program that does two raw meals, one cooked meal. Albeit their cooked meal is restrictive, yours need not be. Feel free to eat whatever you like for that one or two cooked meals. Keeping one meal raw doesn't mean you ONLY drink smoothies...or eat salads. I will continue to post lots of fun raw dishes that are simple to make yet delicious. Raw desserts are lots of fun in this area: I have raw ice cream for breakfast every morning. It is GOOD for me, it is delicious, and my daughter begs me for it every morning. So, have that ice cream for breakfast, smoothie for lunch, and that steak dinner. Enjoy your food, don't restrict your diet.
Also, the technical (if you want to split hairs) "qualifications" for being raw is 80% - 100% of your diet is raw foods. I'm not sure how you figure out what percentage you are raw. I suppose when MOST of your diet is raw, you can consider yourself a raw foodist. Labels can be very limiting, but I have found the most benefits when I'm 100%. Out of the 100-200 raw foodists that I have met in Phoenix, at the various potlucks (which I'll blog about later), I've met only a few who claim 100%. Most simply like the way they feel eating mostly raw. Some say they are "High Raw," "Partially Raw," "experimenting with raw," etc.
The more raw food you incorporate into your diet, the more drastic the benefits will be. There are COUNTLESS (and my next post will be about this) testimonies of DRASTIC healing of chronic conditions, life threatening diseases, morbid obesity, and much more by going raw...and the more raw you go, the more complete the healing. I, myself, no longer have debilitating asthma. Allergies. Eczema. PMS. And so much more. My digestive health is wonderful, my skin is clear, I've lost those stubborn last ten pounds after having a child, my eyesight has improved, I have WAY more energy, and I need less sleep. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I went raw for my health. This is what I want to share with you. God is so good. :)