Each of us is at a different level when it comes to achieving optimal health. Some people are new to the raw living food journey and others have been practicing this way of life at one level or another for five, ten or even twenty years. No matter where you are at on your journey, holidays – particularly Christmas – pose a challenge because so much of the celebration is centered on food.
Don’t look at the challenges holidays pose as a negative thing. Think of it as an opportunity.
It will be easier to resist overeating traditional cooked foods when you plan ahead and take with you your favorite raw vegan main dishes, desserts, snacks and beverages.
Many people who are new to the journey find it uncomfortable to bring their own food to holiday dinners and parties. But if you bring something really delicious, you can share it with everyone.
When I started on this journey 30 years ago I knew it would be my path for the rest of my life. I found it a little uncomfortable to bring raw food dishes to traditional holiday dinners and parties. But then I found how much people love it; they always try what I bring with me. Many people in my social and family circles over the years have moved more toward healthy eating. It is rewarding to see how family and friends have become more aware of health. I don’t take credit for it, of course, because their health consciousness is part of a worldwide shift. However, it warms my heart to think the alternative dishes I have carried to holiday parties and dinners throughout the years have played a small part in encouraging others to take steps toward healthier eating.
One nice way to stay on track with your eating goals is to adapt some of your favorite family recipes to raw versions of the dishes. It’s easy and fun to be creative in a raw food kitchen, so think of your favorite family recipes and how to make them raw. One of my favorite raw recipes is based on my mother’s pasta sauce. My family is from Calabria, Italy and there is a very particular way in which we make our pasta sauce. My raw version of the dish tastes just like my mother’s cooked sauce. I warm it up in the dehydrator and serve it with “noodles” made from buckwheat greens, spaghetti squash or zucchini. If I’m craving angel hair pasta, I shreed zuchinni "noodles" very fine. The recipe is amazing. The family loves it. Other raw foodists love it, too, and have asked me to share it with them. But it’s one recipe I just won’t share. My mother and my mother’s mother never shared their sauce recipes so keeping my raw pasta sauce confidential is my little way of sticking to a centuries-old family tradition.
If your intention is to move through the holiday season staying 50-, 60-, 70-, 80-, 90- or 100-percent raw and you don’t achieve that goal, it’s so important not to become discouraged. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It won’t take too many days before you realize you don’t feel as well as you did when you were sticking to your intention. When you think about how much better you feel when you eat raw living food, it’s a great motivation to get right back on track.
While we’re on the subject of preparing delicious raw foods for the holidays, let me share with you a wonderful drink that anyone can enjoy no matter what their dietary habits.
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe I’ve developed for Raw Eggless Nog.
Raw Eggless Nog
Optional Chocolate Version
Instructions: Blend all ingredients into a rich frothy drink in your Vitamix or another high-speed blender. Serve at room temperature, chill or blend on high for five minutes and warm it up.