Eat Smart Eat Raw
Eat Smart, Eat Raw was the first raw food recipe book to come out of the UK. Filled with over 150 recipes, these are the dishes that Kate was using to feed the family on a daily basis. As such, they are easy to follow, practical to make, and tasty enough to tempt reluctant husbands and children! Including such delights as Thai soup, falafel, cheesecake and garlic crackers, this is a wonderfully useful book for anyone who wants to eat healthily.
I first embarked on a raw food diet in September 1993. I had found myself instinctively wanting to eat a lot of fruit and salads, and had heard from friends how health-giving an all-raw diet could be. As the kitchen of the house I was staying in was out of action for three months while it was being renovated, I decided to try it for myself. I took the plunge, and lived on fruit all day, with a big salad and Essene bread and tahini for dinner (neither Essene bread nor tahini are strictly raw, but I didn't know that then). By the time the kitchen was back in order, I was hooked on my new diet, and have stuck with it ever since. Of course, I have had my ups and downs -it is a huge challenge to stick to 100% raw, 100% of the time. Raw fooders often talk in percentages, claiming to be '70% raw'
or '90% raw' but just to achieve 50% long term can make a vast difference in your life.
Although I was convinced of the health benefits, and had experienced for myself how much better I felt, at first the idea that I would stop eating cooked foods altogether was too much, and I would binge on biscuits and crisps. But gradually, my body came to recognise these as the poisons they truly are. However much I would think that I loved a cooked treat, even one as harmless as apple crumble, when I indulged I would be disappointed, as the cooked dishes came to taste lifeless and dull to me. My body was adjusting to the new levels of energy and the sense of liberation that raw foods gave me, and cooked foods left me on a downer. I began to realise that of course I could eat whatever I wanted - but what I really wanted was to feel good all the time. The cleaner my system, the more cooked foods left me with a 'hangover'; feeling sluggish and irritable. Gradually, the redundancy of cooking food became a reality to me, and the desire to eat it slipped away completely. Anyone who has become a vegetarian, given up smoking, or overcome any addiction in his or her lives, will understand that feeling of a part of your daily life becoming an anathema.
When I adopted the raw food diet, I found, in common with many others, changes happening on all levels of my life. Primarily, I experienced a great leap in energy levels: my body was no longer expending such huge amounts of energy on digestion, and so I felt an almost immediate improvement in my vitality. Also quickly apparent was a greater mental clarity and focus. I felt sharper, more alert, and after a long time on the diet I am really conscious of having the resources to be constantly on the go without flagging. Along with these more obvious changes, I also became aware of changes on a deeper level; I am now much happier and lighter, as the positive energy of raw foods fills my being. I am less prone to bad moods and depression, and more satisfied and content. I have a greater tolerance of difficult people and situations, but at the same time know better where my boundaries lie, and what I am prepared to put up with. I notice things in nature that I never did before: the trees look more green and alive, and the changing of the seasons is more apparent to me. All these elements combine to hugely increase my zest for living, leading to a more positive and productive lifestyle. Because I am eating food that is pure and undamaged, I feel whole - more at one with myself and the world around me.
Many leading raw foodists advocate 100% raw as the only way to go, but I believe this is too difficult for most people. Undoubtedly, the benefits of being 100% are huge, but we live in a world where we are constantly coming into contact with cooked foods, and to refuse them continually is both challenging and awkward. I believe it is as important to have a healthy mind as it is to have a healthy body, and the constant denial of other foods can be more harmful than the foods themselves. If you can maintain just 50% raw, you will experience a huge increase in your wellbeing. Try eating a side serving of raw food with every meal at first, then when you have got used to this, gradually increase the size of the raw portion to the cooked portion, until you have reached a level that you feel comfortable with (many people find this is around 70%). There are so many borderline foods: nuts, dried fruits, olives, seasonings, and dehydrated goodies, that are not strictly raw, making it difficult to be completely sure about what you are eating. Ultimately, so long as you are eating a diet of fresh, organic wholefoods, with fruit and vegetables as the main elements in your diet, you can't go far wrong.
I believe that raw fooders will become more and more accepted over the next few decades, to the same degree that vegetarians are now. When I was a child, vegetarianism was still highly unusual and regarded as cranky. Now, every restaurant and café has a vegetarian dish, and people are prepared to accept the fact that it is possible, even preferable, to live without meat on a daily basis. I hope that by the time my children are adults, raw foods will be equally integrated into our culture, and people will see the logic of eating food that has not been killed by the cooking process, just as they can now see the logic of not eating an animal which has been killed.
What You Say
"Eat Smart Eat Raw makes raw foods easy and fun as Kate's gentle and reassuring words guide you on your voyage. There are days, weeks and months of recipes here, so just get more and more excited as you try Kate's creations. Raw food cuisine pushes the boundaries of creativity, and Kate's cuisine shows this off, wonderfully, simply and consistently. Her recipes and her style are pure joy, created from the heart."
"I just got your book today. It is awesome!!!! Thank you sooooo much! I'm going to make something from it tonight. The mushroom burgers and maybe the curried spinach! I love the layout of your book also."
Alissa Cohen, author of Living on Life Foods, http://www.alissacohen.com/
"It is a great book, I love the family perspective."
Philip Madeley, Marketing & Education, Tree of Life Foundation, http://www.treeoflife.nu/
"I wanted to thank you for your marvellous book, Eat Smart, Eat Raw, it is my first (and currently only) raw recipe book and I just depend on it! Our lives have been revolutionised!" Anna Lenton
"It is one of the best books I've bought on the raw food lifestyle." Kate Sturgess
"What a fantastic book! You speak with such a down to earth, no nonsense, practical and realistic approach to providing food for the whole family. Thank you!" Anna Marcon
"It is great - well written, beautifully done." James Traxler
"I have just read Eat Smart Eat Raw from cover to cover and it has really got me inspired! Going raw doesn't seem so daunting now, it seems exciting!" Maria Kidd