So often when people talk about a workshop they went to, they describe what happened. I thought that rather than that, I'd share will you all what I got from attending them. Often knowing what others gain from an experience can be far more useful than a description. I'd never been to one of Kate's events before.
So, I think it's important to first fill you in with where things have been for me of late, because that's particularly relevant to what I took from the workshop. I have been on a predominatly raw diet now since 2009, being all but 100% raw for the first year or so and then maintaining a high raw diet (70%+) from then onwards. On my high raw diet I quickly become used to having lots of energy and 'sparkle', and when I juice feast (at least once a year) I usually feel like I have a brilliant lightness and masses of spare energy. That's how you're supposed to feel when you're on a raw diet, right?
Well, aside from a drop in my kidney energy during the winter months, it's how I normally felt. Then a few months ago things started to change. I have been struggling with coming to grips with the how and what of what's going on. It's been frustrating at times because it's just not what I've come to expect. My energy levels have been a lot lower than usual. I've been very tired and needing lots of sleep. There are many factors that contributed to this change and I can post about them later. It certainly wasnt solely diet related. When Kate's visit happened, it was perfect timing. I really needed to sit back and listen to what she had to say about successful raw diets and reconsider the dietary aspects that contribute to my energy levels.
I'm not going to go into the ins and out of what I do and don't eat right now. I can post that another time. But what I will say is that in addition to the raw vegan foods I eat, the cooked foods in my diet are organic and unprocessed. The reason I mention this is that people often assume that because I'm a Raw Food Faerie that I must be 100% raw and 100% vegan all of the time, which is just not true. I'm not a 'hardcore' raw fooder who believes that 100% raw is the only way. I think there are a lot worse things I could do than eat some organic vegan home cooked foods. That said, I know without a doubt, that I feel at my best when I am almost totally raw.
Over the weekend, Kate shared with us her Magic Triangle and the ratios of the different raw foods that are generally considered to make for a successful raw diet. Kate wasn't talking about success in the short term, but success in the longer term. So during the talk and the workshop I was considering where I may have drifted away from where I wanted to be with my largely raw foods diet.
I suspect that everyone present at the event probably took something different away with them, depending on where they were at on the Raw Food journey. Some people were new to raw, some just dipping their toe in and others had been eating raw for a while. So, what did I take away from Kate's teachings?
I realised that whilst I have a well equipt raw kitchen, with lots of wonderful ingredients, I haven't been that conscious of late about really thinking about the balance of what I am including in my own meals. I've been a little too focused on making and pouring love into foods (i.e. cakes) for others that I kind of lost focus on what I was including in my own diet. I have had lots of energy pouring out without keeping my batteries well charged so that I can keep going! I think that the 'raw' has become such a normal and routine thing that I've forgotten to tune in as much as I used to to my body's messages, getting stuck in a groove of eating certain foods without thinking much about it. When I listen, I clearly know what I need more or less of. That's something I need to remember to listen in to, particularly when I'm really busy!
Essential Fatty Acids was another area that needed a review. As I've blogged about it before, Pras and I have been drinking hemp milk for many years now, since well before I'd even considered a raw food diet. Once we got used to the earthy taste and created some recipes where it tasted great, we included it in out diet almost every day. Over the last while we had been drinking more almond milk than hemp milk, so that's something that I have been shifting over the past weeks. This wasn't just a 'head' decision. I made some almond milk and I made some hemp milk and found that when I really tuned into what my body needed, which of the milks made me happy, it was the hemp milk without a doubt. I'll be taking a break from almonds for a while, until my body starts to ask for them again. So, we're now back to making hemp milk for our daily superfood smoothie and, Pras and I are both feeling a huge change already. Kate suggests drinking hemp milk regularly, made from whole hemp seeds - this is the way that we've always prefered it.
Chia is next on the list for increasing in my diet as it's another great source of EFAs. There has been quite a few bags of chia sitting in my cupboard for some time now and I just hadn't gotten around to doing anything with them so, Kate's talk was great to kick start me into digging it out. In the past I've had the greatest of intention of experimenting with chia seeds but, I'd never gotten further than soaking it and then not having the time to invest in experimenting with it. I totally appreciate the properties of Chia, both nutritionally and for the potential they hold for use in recipes. We're now having chia daily. In the past week we have been enjoying daily Chia puddings, fruit pies and the best crackers I've ever made. If I hadn't glanced at what Kate was planning to have for dinner on the Saturday night I may not have become so Chia inspired! I find that looking at foods that have been made by others usually gives me a jump start to thinking up many other ways of incorporating ingredients into the diet. This was certainly the case on this occasion.
Greens! Well yes, I already eat a lot of greens (in fact our fridge is often overflowing with them) but Kate's talk left me thinking that I could incorporate even more of them. Pras and I already consume a lot of blended greens in our smoothies, I also add fresh greens to cakes (yes, and it works well believe it or not!) and salads. We've decided to add even more salads greens, especially while we're in the seasonal months for them and add more green superfood powders. Chlorella is one of my favourite green powders but I'm going to go back to adding in spirulina too. Because I can't stand the taste of spirulina, I'm opting for superfood enemas (yes, you read that right). The enema subject is one I generally steer clear of here as this blog is about food but, if you want to know more about these, there is a great Raw Food World video on YouTube where Matt and Angela interview Kate Magic about superfood enemas. If enemas are something you do then, it's worth adding some superfoods. The colon is amazing at absorbing water and nutrients so it's seems a shame not to take advantage....
|Personal Phi Harmoniser|
Something that is available through Raw Living is the Phi Personal Harmoniser. it's small, portable and can be used to give protection from Electromagnetic pollution. They can be used to energise your water or be worn as jewelley. This is something that I am really keen to try. Once I get one and try it out, I'll report back and let you all know what I think! What I really like about these is that we can take them travelling with us, along with some adya clarity and feel a lot better about the water we're drinking.
|CIR Vortex Energiser|
According to what Kate shared about superfoods, I'm doing pretty well really, including around the right quantities in our daily intake. I generally include a good range but am thinking about adding suma to my list! It's not one that I've gotten around to trying yet so I'll be looking at getting some of that soon too. On the Sunday, Kate included a number of superfoods in her recipes and there was an opportunity for those who were new to these ingredients to touch and taste them to see what they were like.
Kate shared some recipes during the workshop and we all got to try some of each. For me, the curry was the shining light from the group but, that's because I love really good raw savoury dishes. That may sound strange coming from someone who loves to make raw cakes and puddings but, it's really true. My tooth is nowhere near as sweet as many assume. The chocolate recipes Kate shares were great for getting loads of superfoods in. Because I've always made food and loved cooking and, now make lots and lots of raw food myself, I always love to see how other people do things in the kitchen. I wish I had been to one of Kate's classes nearer to the beginning of my raw food journey, when I was just jumping in to it all.
On the Raw Faerie side of things, I did have a moment of inspiration here and there, little ideas of things I must try when I get some creative time in the kitchen but, that wasnt my primary reason for attending. I was there for me on a more personal level.
What's really exciting is that Kate is hoping to return to Cornwall again sometime next year for another workshop. I'm sure Archie Brown's will keep us posted closer to the time but, if I hear of the when and where's I definitely be posting them up to help spread the word.