I helped taste test many of Gabrielle's recipes and they are all delicious. Gabrielle proof-read my eBook, "The Health Evolution"
North Atlantic has a whole section of their website devoted to books about the raw foods diet!
Here is a recent interview they published with Gabrielle Chavez in their July 2005 newsletter.
It's Time for a Rawsome Diet!
A Rawsome Diet
"DEMI MOORE stays lean and mean on a raw-food diet of fruits, vegetables, and nuts..." – TV Guide, June 2005
Medical News Today has named the raw foods diet one of the top seven most popular diets in the world. An article in USA Today talks about how "interest in raw food diets has been sprouting recently beyond the usual fad cradles like Manhattan and southern California."
And according to Newsweek/MSNBC, "boosted by celebrity endorsements, the raw-foods movement in migrating from the margins to the mainstream."
So what is this diet that's been causing some noise? Is it a fad? Is it here to stay? Does it really work? Whether you're looking to switch to a raw foods diet, or simply curious, North Atlantic's popular books on raw and whole foods are the first stop on your journey to a healthier body.
In this issue, we've also included an illuminating interview with author Gabrielle Chavez that will help shed some light on the diet.
Our featured rawsome titles will be at a special 10% discount when you order online through August 1.
This month's author spotlight is on Gabrielle Chavez, author of the new book The Raw Food Gourmet: Going Raw for Total Well-Being. Gabrielle began her professional healing journey in the 1970's through a study of the connections between nutrition and health.
A degree in biology and religion at Yale University provided the foundation for a career in practical healing arts and spirituality.
She is an accomplished herbalist, gardener, flower essence practitioner, Reiki master, and founding pastor of Christ the Healer United Church of Christ, an interfaith spiritual community in Portland, Oregon.
In 2001, after embracing a raw and living foods diet for its spiritual value and the increased vitality it provides, she trained as a raw food chef, hosted a weekly gourmet raw potluck, and founded Share the Love Catering to feed a growing network of persons searching for food that nourishes the soul as well as the body.
Q. What are the benefits of a raw food diet?
A raw food lifestyle is good for both healing and maintaining peak health. Cooking damages or destroys vital nutrients, causing an immune reaction when cooked food is eaten and putting an unnatural demand on the digestive organs.
Eating food undamaged by cooking leaves you noticeably less tired and more energized. There are lots of other benefits too, from helping the environment, to saving money, to overcoming addictions and allergies.
Plus, gourmet raw food is bright, delicious, creative and fun.
Q. What attracted you personally to raw food?
I observed people who had been eating this way for a while. They exuded both energy and clarity, which I envied. Then I discovered how good raw gourmet food tasted. There's the satisfaction of knowing I am eating and serving others only what is truly good. And I also appreciate the art and beauty of raw food preparation.
Q. Is a raw food diet a fad and if not, what will make it transcend being a fad?
I hope it becomes a fad in the sense that many people will have an opportunity to learn about it and make more empowering food choices. People who go on a raw or mostly raw diet will notice they feel better, but there is a lot to overcome in our culture and personal habits to stick with it long enough that it becomes a lifestyle.
As a lifestyle, it is self-reinforcing because the biofeedback is right there every time you eat.
Q. Do you recommend a gradual adoption of a raw food diet or a sudden 100% switch? And does one need to be vegan to gain the benefits of a raw food diet?
I recommend informing yourself and then following your heart. Many people are ready for a major transformation and going 100% raw is a dramatic change for the better.
Luckily, this major transformation supplies the extra energy necessary to succeed, if the motivation and information are present. But everyone can benefit right away by replacing at least some cooked foods with more fresh and raw.
The gradual approach also avoids triggering a healing crisis in the body. Most but not all raw-fooders choose to be vegan, but there are some who have access to clean raw seafood, meat, and dairy, and choose to eat that.
Q. What makes the recipes in your new book Raw Food Gourmet unique?
My book is dedicated to the "raw curious"--people who have heard about raw food but haven't experienced it much. I offer a lot of reasons to give it a try and recipes that reassure you won't be missing anything you love.
For one thing, raw gourmet is not all or even mainly salads. The great thing is the desserts are delicious, filling and so good for you--some are even made with vegetables-- that you can skip the salad and just have a fruit smoothie with a slice of raw pie or cake. That's what I often do, and I'm still eating better than I ever have since my mother weaned me.
Q. Any parting advice for the reader considering a raw food diet?
Besides informing your mind and following your heart, listen to your body.
Look yummy? This is a picture of a "raw" cake Gabrielle recently made.
"The Amazing Avocado Icing and Fruit Fondue (with or without the accompanying cake) is always a crowd pleaser," says Gabrielle. Want to try? Here's the recipe for the icing, from page 51 of The Raw Food Gourmet
The Amazing Avocado Icing and Fruit Fondue
Some raw food genius discovered that processing avocado this way results in an incredibly delicious creamy icing. Your friends will never guess the main ingredient.
- 2 large, or 3 medium, ripe Hass avocados (Hass work best because they are highest in fat) peeled and seeded
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Sprinkle unrefined salt
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup (85 -120g) raw honey or agave nectar (start with less and adjust to taste)
- 1/2 cup (70g) raw carob powder
1/3 cup (45g) ground raw cacao beans and 1/3 cup (40g) carob for a chocolate fudge icing
Process the avocado, salt and sweetener with an "S" blade until blended. Add powdered carob and optional ground cacao beans. Process briefly until creamy and chocolaty brown. You can add one very ripe banana to stretch the amount of icing without affecting the texture, but it will affect the taste, somewhat, of the final result.
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e-mail: mike (at) therawdiet.com