By Angela Allain

Many people have the misconception that becoming a raw foodist has to be an expensive, highly complex, and time-consuming process, when in actuality, it’s the exact opposite. It’s quite easy, especially if you live in Downtown Toronto where we have access to so many great shops, as well as many restaurants that are either fully raw, vegetarian, or vegan with raw options available.

Still, when I mention that I am predominantly a raw foodist to people who are unfamiliar with this dietary lifestyle choice, I often get a response along the lines of : “Do you live off eating carrots and celery sticks and munch on lettuce all day long like a rabbit?” (Laughs, no!)

For any meal, snack or drink that you can think of that’s normally cooked, there’s either already an existing raw recipe version of it that’s easy to follow or, with some imagination, you can create one.

When I became a raw foodist over 12 years ago in Halifax Nova Scotia, my selection of resources was a lot more limited (remember, that was before Facebook was invented). Here in 2017, there is a bountiful amount of raw recipe books readily available in physical and online book stores worldwide.

I had a limited pool of people to talk to who attended our monthly raw potluck and those who attended raw workshops that I could share ideas and learn from. After taking so many workshops, eventually I started teaching raw food workshops myself.

Fast forward to 12 years later, when I’m grateful to call Toronto my home. I can easily and readily be a raw foodist “on the go” with my version of “fast foods” when and if needed. Even when I’m travelling it’s easier as well. So, it’s a great time to become one.

The benefits of following a raw food diet are seemingly endless.
They include:

● Saving time with food preparation
● Ultimate and cleanest fuel for your body to run at its fullest capacity
● Increased levels of energy
● Left feeling full yet light vs. heavy and sluggish after eating cooked meals
● Look and feel younger
● Improved circulation
● Better digestion
● Faster recovery time from workouts, sickness and injuries
● Require less sleep and wake up feeling more rested
● It’s better for the environment (more compost and less packaging)
● Strong and healthy hair and nails
● Clearer, radiant, hydrated-looking skin
● Increased libido
● Help you achieve your desired healthy weight for your body type
● Heightened mental alertness
● Nutrients more bio-available

Some examples of raw foods you can make in 5 to 10 min or less:
● Smoothies
● Fruit & Vegetable juices
● Guacamole & Salsa
● Collard Wraps
● Nori wraps
● Salads
● Granola
● Halva
● Ice cream
● Chocolate avocado mousse
● Cut up veggies & nut butter

None of these require the more fancy expensive kitchen tools. Just your basics.

Best places to shop in Toronto :
● Herbs and Nutrition health food store
● Whole Foods
● Big Carrot
● Various Farmers Markets all over the city including:
○ St. Lawrence Market
○ Brickworks
○ Wychwood Barns
○ Sorauren Market
○ Dufferin Grove
○ Trinity Bellwoods
○ Borden

Best raw food restaurants in Toronto:
● Live food bar restaurant
● Rawlicious
● Planta
● Fractal foods cafe/Alternative Thinking

Great raw websites

Here’s a few delicious raw recipes for you to try of mine:

Breakfast: Smoothie
● 1/2 to 1 cup of nut milk (almond, coconut or cashew) (depending how liquid vs thick consistency is desired)
● 1 cup of frozen berries
● 1/2 to 1 frozen banana
● 1 scoop of Amazing Grass greens powder (Berry flavor)
● 1 TBSP of Maple Syrup (optional, already sweet enough as it is)
Mix it all in a blender or with a hand blender for a few minutes and it’s done.

Lunch: Salad
● 1 1/2 to 2 cups of mixed greens or arugula or spinach
● 1/2 to 1 Avocado cut up in slices
● 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onions
● 6 to 8 sun dried ripe olives
● 1/5 to 1/4 block of tempeh (Basil or Curry flavor)
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sprouted legumes (Kind organics)
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated carrots
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated beets
● handful of chopped Dulse (optional)

Dressing :
● 2 to 3 TBSP of Rallis Iced pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil or Flax oil
● 1 to 2 TBSP of Lemon Juice or Apple cider vinegar
● 1/4 sea salt
● 1/4 tsp black pepper
● 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
● 1/4 tsp ginger powder
● 1 tsp of honey as sweetener (optional)
Mix everything in a bowl and it’s ready to serve!
Dinner: Nori Wraps
Take a nori sheet lay on a plate flat and pour water until it softened
In a mixing bowl:
● 1 1/2 to 2 cups of mixed greens
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated carrots
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated beets
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup of thinly sliced mango
● 2 TBSP of thinly sliced red onions
● 1 to 2 TBSP minced cilantro
● 1 to 2 TBSP lemon juice
● 1/4 tsp sea salt
● 1/4 tsp black pepper
● 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Add a medium horizontal layer of your mix onto your softened nori sheet and roll it up tight and repeat for however many nori wraps you decide you wanna make. Put a small dish of nama shoyu as dipping sauce on the side and it’s ready to eat!
Talk to your doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet if you have any current ongoing health conditions and taking medication for it.

Many medications include grapefruits and drink grapefruit juice as contraindications since it will interfere with them by fluctuating /elevating your medication levels and is a natural blood thinner.

Looking for assistance reaching your personal nutritional health goals?

Angela Allain is available for holistic nutritional consultations and group workshops in person and on line.

You can also have her accompany you to the grocery store as your shopping guide.

Angela Allain is a Raw & Holistic Nutrition Expert and a Registered Massage Therapist

Book your appointment today with Angela and get healthy now!

Phone number: (416).894.6840