I don't know when I started doing Raw Recipe Nights, but my guess is over a year ago. I'm pretty sure it simply started because a girl I had met at a raw potluck (and raw potlucks will be a whole separate blog post) had been curious about a dish I had made, so I invited her over to learn how to make it. I've taught quite a few young ladies who were new to raw how to make simple dishes. That's my motto: fast, easy, delicious. I also answer questions they might have regarding simple nutrition, grocery shopping, food choices, etc. It's always been very informal and usually one-on-one, which has always been very effective.
Last night I hosted a Raw Recipe Night and invited thirteen of my Facebook girl friends that I've made over the past year. Since I was hosting in my apartment, only ladies were invited (since safety and privacy are very important to me). Five women trickled in, three had previous experience with the raw lifestyle, one has just committed to a lifestyle with more and more raw foods, and one was curious and enthusiastic to simply learn more.
I called the evening "Raw N' Roll", for I was teaching how I make Nori Rolls, which are a sushi equivalent, and Cinnamon Rolls with Icing. We began with the Nori Rolls, as it can be prepared nut-free and one of my guests couldn't do nuts. I put all the ladies to work cutting (julienne-ing) vegetables while I made the "rice" mixture and the Asian pate. Everyone got a turn rolling the delicacies and all of the rolls were eaten. We discussed where I shop for my food, how I get Nori seaweed inexpensively, what Jicama is and how to prepare it, nutrients in fresh vs. cooked vegetables, and much more.
After we had eaten our fill, we moved onto the Cinnamon Rolls, which was much less preparation. The ladies visited and got to know one another while I made almond flour and milled flaxseeds. Since it was a large group, I got to make a monster cinnamon roll and we had traditionally sized rolls to eat when they were almost chilled (we just couldn't wait any longer!). Usually I make mini rolls for myself, and these large leftovers are quite the treat. Yum!
It was a great time and I have emailed each of the ladies with the recipes we used, so they can attempt it on their own after having participated with me. It was so much fun, and wonderfully successful that I believe this is definitely what I want to do. My long term goal is to become a certified nutritionist with intentions on becoming a health counselor. I would come to your home and teach you how to make foods for yourself, where to grocery shop and how to choose what you want, plan out meals and teach you all the research I have done for myself. It would be a one-on-one thing, and I plan on hosting classes for groups on the side. One of my friends who came, who organizes an incredible farmer's market with a wonderful farmer who picks directly for me (Yay! Horny Toad Farms!), is so eager for my classes that she is volunteering to get it off the ground for me. Instead of trying to stuff a bunch of people into my apartment, I'll be using a larger space and providing a much more structured class. I'm so excited, and it looks like next month will be my first official class!! Each class will center around recipes and specific foods, while the education and information will be discussed as we un-cook. I'm thinking the first class will be dips, since they are easy and delicious and a fun addition to any lifestyle, raw or not.
Almost everyone left just before ten that evening, which is about the time I assumed it would end. One of my friends ended up staying and we chatted until I almost literally kicked her out at 11:30! That's late for the girl who needed to be up by six am for church the next day. We talked about our raw lifestyles (of course) since we are both fully raw, but we also talked about our faith. I try to share with everyone that there is only one reason I am able to completely change my lifestyle successfully and that is by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. It is His strength that carries me through the cravings I get when I'm around people who are enjoying their cooked foods. It is His patience that allows me to finish my green smoothie before I dig into that scrumptious cinnamon roll. It is His peace filling my every moment that keeps my food from becoming my obsession. It is His love that flows through me to share what I've learned with those who are open minded to an alternate path. It is His light shining within me that inspires everyone around me to ask questions and learn more about the Raw Lifestyle. I could go on and on, that's what happens when I'm passionate about a subject...you can't shut me up! :)
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.