In my late teens, my mom and I both went through a raw foodist phase. We spent an inordinate amount of time on food prep, soaking, chopping and blending all manner of living foods. It was fun, but eventually I realized that I wasn’t healthy or happy on the diet. It was socially awkward and difficult to get enough calories. Despite the raw food belief that uncooked calories are easier to digest, I experienced stomach troubles that took me months to realize were from eating cold foods all the time. I later learned that many food sources need to be broken down through cooking in order to make the nutrients more available.
Still, there’s some merit to the raw food ethos. The emphasis on fresh vegetables, cultured foods and digestive health is really valuable. I think that a raw-food diet could actually work pretty well if I lived in a warm tropical climate, where things like coconuts, papayas and avocados were in abundance. Or if I incorporated protein sources, like raw seafood.
This morning, sitting in front of my computer and sipping coffee, I knew I needed to eat something, but wasn’t motivated to cook. With the holiday season in full swing, I wanted something cleansing — but what?
Then my mom called and announced that she finally bought a Vitamix. I was pretty happy for her — the Vitamix is my and Jason’s absolute favourite kitchen appliance, and the one thing (other than the fridge) that we use every single day. It’s basically a giant motor attached to a blade — a kitchen power tool.
Together, we talked about all of the things my mom was planning to do with the Vitamix, and reminisced about our raw food days. It was then that we remembered “energy soup” — the avocado-y, creamy blend that was a favourite meal at the time. I and then, despite the drizzly cold outside, I got totally inspired to make it again.
The energy soup we used to make contained apples, pears and celery. I think there were sprouts in there as well. I didn’t have any of those things, but I had an avocado, some fresh organic carrots that Jason had, and a bunch of other stuff.
The result was tasty, comforting, and, as Jason said, “really healthy tasting”. It turned out to be a perfect cleansing meal to counter-balance our current holiday indulgences.
The fact that I’m having it with coffee right now probably makes me less than pure. But having come through a strict raw foodist diet and on to the other side of not having any real dietary restrictions, I’ve concluded that life ought to be like this: you can live with strong principles but not absolute rules, and indulge moderately as long as the bulk of your actions are healthy. Or, as I like to say, “everything. In moderation.”
Raw energy soup
1 C filtered water
2 large organic carrots, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons organic miso
2 large organic kale leaves, including stems
1 handful of raw almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
Braggs to taste
Place water in the pitcher of a high-powered blender such as a vitamix. Add carrots and blend on high power.
Add avocado. Blend, using the big stick attachment to push the avocado down (I’m not sure why, but avocado seems to defeat even the strongest blenders. It makes no sense, since avocado is so creamy. But it’s REALLY hard to blend).
Add remaining ingredients and blend, using the stick attachment, until creamy. The consistency will be like baby food. You can add more water if it’s too thick.
Serve with a dash of braggs.