When I first moved to LA four years ago, I really tried to love raw food but just couldn’t get into it. And in the years since then and now, I’ve tried different experiments to see how my body reacts to dietary changes, like cutting out meat, dairy, and sugar one month at a time, and going vegan. When I didn’t notice much difference from any of this, I decided to go back to my ways of eating meat and ice cream.
But about 5 months ago, something changed. I’m not sure if it was my work with Philosophie Superfood Powders, Gratitude Cafe opening around the corner, my new focus on work in the health and wellness industry, or my resolution to live intentionally beginning to really kick in, but I started to crave only live, active foods. When I say this, I mean foods that nourish, energize, heal– ones that are grounding and don’t send me on a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I began to see how my former coffee-drinking, speed-talking ways clouded my perception of the moment, and how much better my skin looks when I don’t eat dairy. I began to feel lighter, calmer, happier, less anxious.
So when I saw that raw food chef Heather Haxo Phillips was going to be teaching two classes at Gratitude Cafe, I knew they couldn’t be missed. I’m okay at “putting foods together” but I have a long way to go in the kitchen. So the first class, Raw Food for Beginners was just what I needed.
I met with Heather before the class to say hello and snapped a few portraits of her natural gorgeousness. As if you can’t tell from the top photo, Heather radiates a glow that you can only get from a clean diet– my main inspiration for eating fresh, raw foods!
After sharing her story with us, Heather took us through a day of eating raw– beginning with a Green Smoothie, which she describes as the single most important thing you can do for yourself (for nutrition, energy and mood) even if its your only raw meal each day. Some of her favorite combos include:
- 4 pears + 1bunch parsley
- 1c strawberries + 1 banana + 1/2 bunch romaine
- 2 pears + 5 leaves kale + 1/2 bunch mint
- 1 banana + 2 oranges + 1/2 bunch parsley
Heather then showed us a delicious Cream of Zucchini Soup (zucchini, avocado, celery, lemon, miso, herbs) which I could happily eat for every meal:
Next up is what I really came for: the dishes that transform raw food into versions of traditional cooked/ non-vegetarian food. These were the types of dishes I couldn’t get into four years ago, and I’ve always preferred “real” food (i.e. a steak) as opposed to processed, fake food (i.e. meat substitute + seasoning formed into something that looks like a steak.) But Heather’s recipes totally change the game:
The Not-Tuna Pate (main ingredients: sunflower seeds, almonds, celery, onion and lemon) was so yummy and I don’t even like tuna!
And then my personal favorite of the day, Zucchini Noodle Marinara. I knew I needed a Vitamix but not I also need a Spiralizer. It’s a crazy little contraption that turns zucchini into perfect little strings of “pasta” ! I usually bulk up pasta dishes with veggies anyway, or use spaghetti squash instead, so this is a great way to make a light supper that tastes as good (better i think!) than the real thing.
I mean, let’s be honest– there’s no real substitute for authentic italian homemade pasta (YUM!), but the heavy feeling after a big bowl, or waking up feeling hungry after a carb-heavy meal (anyone else get that weird sensation?) that comes with it is something im happy to let go of.
Plus freshly blended ripe tomatoes, basil, garlic? Its the most delicious sauce I’ve ever had. I could drink it on its own as a soup!
Finally, we made a Chocolate Mousse out of dates, avocado and cocoa. A perfect day!
In Part 2 of Un-cooking with Heather Haxo Phillips, I’ll write about our morning making Nut Milks and Cheeses, as well as more on how Heather balances a life of eating raw with cooked food, and how she makes choices about eating raw while overseas or in social situations. She has a great, accessible attitude that I can’t wait to share!
I’ve been incorporating more raw meals into my rotation and would love to know– do you have any favorite recipes? Or any experience in “un-cooking” you can share with us? Please do! xx