Thank you for inviting me to share a little about myself and my health journey today.
My journey into holistic health and a raw vegan diet began back in 2008. I had started looking at ways to feel better and gain more energy. At the time I had 3 young boys, one of which is autistic and was very difficult to manage. We had been trialing various diets popular within the autism community, and had already started on a quest for better health for him. A few articles regarding a raw vegan diet started appearing in Vegetarian/Vegan magazines that I subscribed to. At first I thought it was too ‘out of the box’ for me, but the more I read, the more I became interested.
I come from a family with an extensive history of cancer on both sides so the idea of eating to prevent disease really appealed to me. I started to immerse myself in all the information about raw plant food and health related information on the internet and went into it 100%.
Changing my diet to primarily raw vegan lifted an enormous weight from my life, both physically and mentally. It allowed me to function in a much more productive way and feel better than I thought possible. I noticed a change almost immediately and introducing a lot the same food to my son dramatically improved his digestive issues, which in turn helped with some behaviours. For me, it is about eating the food that nourishes you in a long-lasting and optimal fashion. It is about eating a variety of whole plant food – which for me is mostly made up of fruits and vegetables. You have to love the foods that love you back. Deep fried chicken loves nobody back!
My top 5 tips for making the change to a healthier you
- Be open to change, learn as much as you can from the resources around you.
- Focus of a variety of whole plant food. If you don’t like something, move on and try something else. There is an abundance of food to choose from.
- Be kind to yourself and never compare yourself to other people. This is your journey and nothing is ever as it seems with other people.
- Move your body. If exercise isn’t your thing, find another way to be moving. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” so dance, skip, walk , stand instead of sitting all time. The better you eat, the more you will want to move.
- Lastly and most importantly, be your own guide. No matter what anyone else tells you is the way to eat or live, if it doesn’t ring true for you – don’t do it. It’s good to try things but if causes more than discomfort for a long period of time – stop. Learn the difference between mild discomfort from a change of lifestyle, and that in which is just wrong. You have the power and tools to determine your own healthy and lifestyle.
In the word of Buddha “Believe nothing, no matter who said it, not even if I said, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense”.
1 cup of almonds (preferably activated)
3/4 cup of hazelnuts (activated if you can)
1 cup of pitted medjool dates
1 T of water
A pinch of sea salt.
Process the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture becomes sticky enough to hold its own and you can easily press it together. If it’s not sticky enough just add a few more dates.
Press the mixture into a spring-form tin and place in the freezer.
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
1/4 cup of water
1/2 t of pure vanilla extract or powder
2 cups of cashew nuts (soaked overnight and rinsed)
8 soft pitted dates
1 cup of melted cacao butter
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
1 t of ground cinnamon.
Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy.
Pour onto the base, smooth out the top and put it back in the freezer to set (1-2 hours).
The last time we made this we topped it off with smashed fresh blackberries. The tartness really offset the sweetness perfectly.
You can leave it plain or add your own favourite toppings.
New Zealand born Nicole English is a photographer, author and the creator of www.rawkiwi.com. She lives in Sydney with her Irish husband and their 5 little Aussies.