I wanted to share this.
This is sample shopping menu for people new to raw food.
It doesn’t have to be expensive! It doesn’t have to be labour-intensive either. I think I spend less time in the kitchen these days and most things are made with a knife, chopping board and food processor. Clean up tends to be super-fast and easy.
I’ve written this because I know many people are too busy to even consider how to revolutionise their kitchen and other times they don’t even know where to start! You can do this slowly by introducing more and more raw foods – and I encourage this because a quick, radical shift in diet can be harder on the body – but if you used this list as the core of your shop you could still include in some of your old treats (bread, crackers, etc), then slowly shift the emphasis onto raw. This list assumes some pre-existing essentials, cocoa (if you eat it), sea salt, pepper, spices, some tinned food, coconut cream, shredded coconut, etc.
My personal goal is high-raw all the time by the year’s end. I’m not fully raw and don’t want to be. I prefer high-raw! I’m also not an advocate of perfection. All things in moderation – including moderation? That’s how I roll, and how I always want to roll, I don’t want to exclude myself from experiences, however after a while raw just becomes the preference, and it seems like it will drag you down to eat cooked food, so you start to cringe at the prospect of a big, fatty cooked meal after a while! Oddly, the shift into raw has always started as a health decision and remained a choice simply because the food tastes absolutely superior in every way.
I have removed gluten from the kitchen and have some yeast to bake my own gluten-free breads should I have the urge, and sometimes I make pikelets with gluten-free flour instead of cookies or biscuits, if I really have a craving for starchy, sweet food; occasionally I’ll throw in a few dark chocolate chips or raisins. I also occasionally will enjoy a tofu scramble, or a cooked bean dinner with a salad or rice; I always try to keep the cooked meals more protein-oriented. A good gluten-free brand is Macro Wholefoods. It has an affordable price-point and costs under $5 a bag at Countdown.
Some of these items you would not buy every week, so it is reasonably affordable when compared with a standard diet. I wouldn’t call my application the perfect application of raw food. I simply can’t afford to do that, I know some people wouldn’t buy bottled lemon, for example, but when lemons are expensive that will last a long time and is an essential flavour!
Also, if you are just beginning with raw try keep the fat content high, this alleviates cravings and slows down any potential “detox”. You can drop the fat content later as your body adjusts to the change. I am always reluctant to use that term “detox” because it can sound psuedo-scientific, but I’ll frame it in this way instead: when you start eating raw or high-raw, you might get headaches or tiredness. This doesn’t mean the eating style is failing you, it can often be a response to food addictions – imagine that some foods are addictive like coffee – when you give up coffee you might deal with a few days (or weeks) of headaches. It’s the same with sugary foods and drinks, fatty fried foods, products containing gluten, chocolate, many cooked starches and things like margarine – they’re addictive – and this means that when you eliminate them, you can sometimes experience a consequence. I have been known to take a paracetamol or ibuprofen to help me with a headache at that time because I’d rather experience an overall positive benefit of the change in eating-style, than let a headache hold me back.
I’ve also included some suggested meals, below.
SUGGESTED SHOPPING LIST
Sundried Tomatoes $5
Olive Oil $5
300g Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) $5
300g Sunflower seeds $3
Medjool dates $7
This is the most expensive part, but you’d be unlikely to go through that much each week. I buy tahini probably once every three weeks, sundried tomatoes each fornight, dates each fortnight, and a bottle of oil a month. The LSA and cashews are likely to be used in the week but the pepitas and sunflower seeds ought to last two.
It works out to be roughly $25 per week.
Buy in season! Don’t get the expensive stuff! Right now that’s:
2 huge lettuces
a huge bunch of bananas
Mung bean sprouts
1/2 a celery
At a good non-organic fruit and veggie shop (I cannot afford organic) this costs under $40. That’s roughly $65 in total though this feeds two people. My son eats more cooked food than me and I have a veggie garden just in which will start to bring the cost down even further. I am also lucky to be given veggies like cabbage, courgette, beetroot and silverbeet from my parent’s garden. Overall, a lot of the veggies will end up lasting longer than the week as well, so the total cost is likely to be less than my estimate.
Suggested menu items include:
Sandwiches with raw bread
Raw marinara with courgette spaghetti
Nachos (with carrot & cucumber “chips”, raw salsa, sunflower seed “refried beans” and a cashew or tahini cream dressing) – recipe coming
All kinds of creative lettuce-based salads with tahini sauce or balsamic
Raw fruit for snacks
Bliss balls snacks
Lettuce wraps with satay sauce
The list goes on!
One more thing… a good way to begin is simply swap out a meal each day with a raw alternative. Start by having fresh fruit or smoothies for breakfast, then start having a big meal-salad for lunch, just keep changing out those options until what is new becomes habit.