Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/angsbacka/5251312053/
Raw food retreats offer a great way to reinforce your personal raw journey, no matter where you are on the raw food scale. You’ll get to meet like minded people, have deeper insights about healthy living and learn new ways to adapt a healthier diet in your everyday world. If you’re new to the raw food diet, you’ll definitely appreciate meeting people who walk the walk and talk the talk of the raw food lifestyle. Most of the time, you’ll get included in warm, easy-going groups or communities that are willing to share their knowledge (and food!) with little expense or effort on your part.
Aside from the major positives mentioned above, raw food retreats offer a variety of programs that can help any raw food enthusiast beyond eating. Some retreats include spiritual, mental and physical cleansing to rejuvenate tired souls. You can also get practical advice from (un)cooking classes, appreciate ethical/ green food production, as well as enjoy touring scenic spots in relaxing or exotic environments. These can range anywhere from quaint farms to tropical island destinations.
Raw food retreats can also be life savers in the sense that they can facilitate healing for those with serious medical conditions. People with cancers have been known to find comfort and cure at some of these health institutes.
Aside from raw newbies, professionals who would like more training and immersion in the raw food industry can get certifications at these events. There are also entrepreneurship opportunities for those who are more business inclined.
Raw food retreats differ in many aspects, but as with anything, all the best ones come at a price. The most famous ones are:
- The Hippocrates Institute
- The Optimum Health Institute
- The Tree of Life Health Institute
- Ann Wigmore Institute
They’re not “bad” per se, but you do need to consider your budget for these top notch health programs which employ professional doctors, chefs, nutritionists and instructors. Some may further deplete your wallet with expensive merchandise.
Small raw food retreats on the other hand, though more budget-friendly, can dispel some idyllic expectations you may have. If you’re the gung-ho type, single, and have no trouble eating anything straight out of the ground, then they’re perfect. Otherwise, families with small kids who would like more comfortable, sanitary environments would not appreciate this type of “quirky” set up. Similarly, there might not be enough professional medical help to go around if you suddenly get sick.
To be honest, there’s really no ugly side to raw food retreats. J The best way to know which is appropriate for you, is to make inquiries, visit onsite or go by word of mouth). Read reviews in forums.
If there was an ugly side to it, we’d probably say that raw food retreats can be addicting. You’ll have so much fun that you might probably go back for more. Please take note that these retreats are not only for raw foodies but anyone interested in getting healthier. You can drag anyone who can use healthier eating habits and you’ll have made another convert to the raw food life!]]>
Raw Food Safety Flooding Measures
During flooding, rely on clean bottled water whenever possible. Boiling water can also help. Otherwise, you can disinfect whatever potable water you have. Use 8 drops or 1/8 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water. Don’t forget to filter the water first if it appears cloudy. Use clean cloths and separate the usable water for transfer to clean containers before boiling or disinfecting.
Don’t use food that has been contaminated by flood water. Anything that has not been stored in waterproof containers should be thrown away. Food containers should be sanitized with soap and water as well as hot water whenever possible. (Remove all labels as they may contain residual dirt.) Keep your utensils clean the same way.
Raw Food Safety – Storing and Handling
Selecting and Storing
As a general rule, always buy fruits and vegetables that aren’t damaged or bruised. Keep meat and produce separate when bagging. If you’re buying freshcut or salad greens, make sure that it is surrounded by ice or have been refrigerated.
Storing raw food to maximize freshness requires a temperature of 40° F or below.
Raw food safety requires clean hands at all times – and the best way to do it is to wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after you handle food.
1. Remove any bruised or rotten parts
2. Wash everything through running water, even if you will peel it later.
3. Use a produce brush for firm produce such as cucumbers or watermelons.
4. Dry produce with paper towels or clean cloths to further lessen bacteria.
Separate produce and their utensils from raw meats and seafood. Wash their utensils separately, including knives and cutting boards.
Sprouts like alfalfa, mung bean, clover and radish when eaten raw or slightly cooked carry a risk of foodborne bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.
Be careful when drinking fresh squeezed juice sold by the glass at farmers markets, roadside stands, juice bars and cider mills. Make sure to buy only those that have been refrigerated. Otherwise, there is a risk of the juice being contaminated at the site, because most of these products are unpasteurized and have no warning labels.
Raw food safety must also be followed even with organic food. They must be government certified to carry the label “organic”.]]>
”O mortals, do not pollute your bodies with a food so impious! You have the fruits of the earth, you have apples, bending down the branches with their weight, and grapes swelling to ripeness on the vines; you have also delicious herbs and vegetables which can be mellowed and softened by the help of fire. Nor are you without milk or honey, fragrant with the bloom of thyme. The earth, prodigal of her wealth, supplies you her kindly sustenance and offers you food without bloodshed and slaughter…”*
Types of Eating Establishments
Unfortunately with the passing of time and cultural influences, Greece has been exposed to a lot of meat and olive oil eating traditions that are evident in the country’s popular eating establishments. There’s the taverna (family owned eateries), Gyros and Souvlakias (fast food styled) and Estiatorios (restaurants that are upscale). Most of them offer traditional fare (Mediterranean**, a mix of Italian and Turkish influences) but you can request for modifications on your orders to make them more vegetarian or raw friendly. If you want to take the guesswork out of your itinerary, you can also arrange for a vegetarian or vegan tour with a travel agency**.
Kinds of Produce and Food
When you’re out and about and hunting for supplies you can content yourself with fruits – (this is after all where the first fruitarians lived). Other than that, you there’s a vegetarian restaurant and central market in Athens where you can buy organic fruits and greens. Just remember that on Mondays most shops are closed and from 2 to 5 pm there’s a daily local siesta time.
How to Get the Best Food Every time
Raw food guru Fred Patenaude***’s trick to getting the best produce is to speak a little of the local language. This will give you an advantage over common tourists so that local vendors can be more accommodating when it comes to giving you better produce. It’s also a big help if you want to decipher food menus.
Finally, while you are trying to eat raw in Greece don’t forget that it’s not all about food but the experience! Get around in a scooter and see the famous landmarks of the ancient world. Here’s a list.
*“What to Serve a Goddess for Dinner a Theology of Food” by James Robert Deal
***“Eating Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian in Greece and the Greek Islands” from www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog]]>
Among the many kinds of raw food travel, raw backpacking is probably one of the most exciting. You get to test what eating raw really means when you’re out of the kitchen. No blenders, no tools, just relying on pure creativity.
You can’t bring all the food you want either. Backpacking’s no. 1 rule is to always travel light. Then again, you don’t know how lucky you are because eating raw maybe one of the easiest ways to eat in the backcountry. (You don’t need to pack a stove or clean up afterwards!)
Things to Consider
When you’re on this kind of raw food travel, your supplies should:
- Be lightweight, but pack the most nutrients
- Travel well
- Have a longer shelf life
Things that You’ll Need
- Spill-proof, watertight but lightweight containers or bags
- Paring knives
- List of unsafe forage food in the wild
- Water-free sanitizers
Ideal Raw food Menu Items for Backpacking
1. Dehydrated food
You can either make your own or buy them pre-packaged at health food stores. Raw backpacking enthusiasts often take dried dates or raisins.
2. Freeze-dried produce
You can also stick to eating raw while hiking with a supply of freeze dried fruits and vegetables. Freeze drying is different from dehydrating because it also uses pressure to take out moisture in food. You can eat your freeze dried produce by soaking them in some water first, preferably in the morning, and then they’ll be ready to eat at lunch.
Nuts and seeds provide the best nutritional punch for hiking. Hiking burns at least 5000 calories a day so be prepared to munch on a lot of these. They’re recommended for their high-fat content so they’re perfect for this kind of raw food travel. They weigh less than fruit but will fill you up faster.
4. Hard fruits like apples
Next on your raw food menu are hard fruits that won’t spoil as easily. Raw backpacking or not, you need food that’s easy to carry around when you travel. Even just one big apple is enough for your breakfast.
5. Hemp powder/ other superfood powders
Aside from nuts and seeds, superfood powders, including hemp are ideal for raw backpacking. They provide your body with much-needed minerals, plus they don’t weigh that much! Just mix them with water and you’re good to go.
6. Trail mixes
Another favorite for eating raw while backpacking are trail mixes. Make sure you include all the necessary ingredients to meet your protein/carb/fat quotient for the day. Eat them as often as you like whenever you feel hungry.
7. Familiar fruits in the wild
Most backpackers are wary of foraging to add to their raw food menu. You can stay safe if you stick to familiar fruits and berries. Blueberries and greens are okay. Remember, they’re always a good back up plan if your raw backpacking supplies run out.
Even if you’re armed with your very own golden list of raw foods to get ready for travel, you will always have a few surprises before you even arrive at your destination. Some raw food diet items like whole fresh fruits and produce are not allowed at luggage check in. But there are several items that can pass through so that eating raw food is still possible even while you’re in the air. Then again, seasoned raw food diet travelers always have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Stay Hydrated Before, During and After Your Plane Trip
Aside from following your list of raw foods, you have to take enough water before boarding. Drink at least three glasses before takeoff. If you’re hydrated enough you won’t get an upset stomach or get hungry as often. You can also try bringing slices of fruits – cucumbers, apples and oranges or any other food with high water content. Smoothies and juice are okay too.
Stay Away from Eating Too Much Solid Food
Eating raw food on the plane doesn’t mean you can scarf down as much salad, energy bar or fruit as you’d like. Eat as light as possible to avoid jetlag. Raw food diet guru Frederic Fatenaude recommends bringing a UTD or “Ultimate Travel Drink”. It’s a fruit smoothie. Plane food doesn’t really top the list of raw foods so unless you have to, just buy a salad at the airport or get a fruit platter on the plane.
Staying on a raw food diet while you are on a plane IS possible. Just remember to stay hydrated, stick to eating light and move around every two hours to keep travel sickness at bay. Don’t forget to prepare enough or your own food to bring with you – and you’ll get to your destination just fine.]]>
Even if you’re a seasoned veteran, eating raw can be hard for anybody while you’re out of your comfort zone and in unfamiliar territory… (Especially if your destination is known for distinct cultural cooking.) But never fear, raw food living experts assures us that you can rewire your sense of smell a.k.a. your brain, into staying away from eating unhealthy food using several effective techniques.
Doing Time Travel through Your Nose
Before we dive into those special raw food travel tricks, let’s have some background about how our brain processes smells. Our sense of smell is literally linked to the limbic system, which is the part of our brain that associates scents with emotions. Pleasant smells can trigger happy memories and feelings while unpleasant ones can even make us physically sick.
What Cooking Smells Really Are
Most of us start out with cooked food diets and so we associate cooking aromas with nostalgic memories. Even those on a raw food diet are not immune to these. But they keep in mind raw food living’s first rule: all that smell is the flavor that’s left the food. That’s enough to keep hardcore rawfoodists from even touching the stuff. If you want to stay raw on your trip without giving in to cooking smells, here are some expert suggestions:
1. Associate Cooked Food Smells to Something Else
They key is to substitute that association with the benefits of eating raw. Indulge in a little bit of cooked food and observe the “side effects”. If you’re throwing up, having migraines or getting stomach upset, remember those and associate them with the aroma of cooked food.
Alternatively, while you’re enjoying raw food living, sharpen your senses to the look, feel, taste and smell of fresh natural food. Savor feeling and looking better. Substitute these new memories for your cooked food associations.
2. Nip Cravings in the Bud
Raw food travel can also trigger a lot of cravings when you’re surrounded by tempting smells. Make sure you’re always hydrated and that every raw food meal you have is satisfying enough for you.
Raw food living doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Experiment with different rawfood recipes to copy the taste and feel of what you’re craving for – whether its breads, sweets or anything else.
Don’t forget to stock up on vitamins and supplements to address any vitamin deficiencies that might be causing your cravings to spike even more.
3. Always Have Something with You
Eating raw on the road means you always have to be prepared for anything. Aside from cravings, you need to sidestep a lot of cooked food hotspots at your destination. Restaurant or cafe smells can do a number on you. Just remember to prepare your own food as much as possible and to bring some wherever you go. This can be snacks, fruits or smoothies.
Raw food travel can be easier on your nose once you get the hang of appreciating healthy food more. Cooked food won’t even stand a chance.]]>
Even a rawfood diet can make you gain weight while traveling unless you know how to consume the right quantities and eat at the appropriate times. You have to think of the best ways to stock up on energy on your travel while gauging your supplies. It takes a bit of planning but its well worth it to have raw food energy to last the whole day long. Here are some raw food travel advice to know the best times for eating snacks and big ticket meals.
Ask: What will you be doing for the day?
When you eat raw food, think of how much energy you need for your activities until the end of the day. A rawfood diet isn’t just for detoxing or weight loss, its about maintaining your overall health. If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, hiking or any other strenuous physical activity, don’t starve yourself. Eat up!
Health experts recommend eating your biggest meal at noon. This is when you are at your most active – and this is when all that raw food energy can come in handy. Just remember to stop eating right before you are full so as not to overexert your digestive system.
As your day winds down, eat raw food in smaller portions. By 6 p.m. your body is preparing to shut down in time for rest – so any big rawfood diet meal at a later hour can cause you to gain weight rather than help clean out your system.
Rawfood diet Smoothies Count as Calories Too!
Even if you just eat a small salad but finish up with a big jug of rawfood smoothie, you’re still adding calories. Unless you’re planning to do a big activity after you eat raw food, these calories are most likely going to make you gain weight as well. Water is always the best choice for polishing your meals.
Never Mistake Thirst for Hunger
A lot of travelers suffer from dehydration which makes them hungrier – you can avoid this trap by drinking up to three glasses of pure water before you get going. A hydrated rawfood diet before your trip can include a cucumber or two, plus a light snack to help tide you over until your plane lands. This will help keep cravings at bay until you can get to a full rawfood diet meal at your destination.
Make the Trip about the Experience – Not Only About Eating
While you’re on your trip, don’t obsess about your rawfood diet menu plans too much. Don’t forget that you are eating right to get raw food energy to do the things you love. Enjoy your destination and sample whatever good food you find so that can have a more memorable trip.]]>
If you’re planning to travel on a raw diet, you can be overwhelmed with the kind of preparation you have to make, but knowing your raw food basics can make it easier. All you have to remember are three things and you’re home free. Here are the key elements of basic raw food menu planning – whether you’re traveling to cities with good health stores or some remote location where they don’t even know what “organic” means.
Know Your Raw Food Basic Ingredients
According to Wikipedia, there are different types of raw food diets, and you can choose from a variety of vegan/vegetarian or raw meat products that can fill your nutritional needs. For traveling, it’s recommended that you stick to greens, fruits, nuts or seeds as a safety precaution. (Raw meats or meat products don’t store very well and can make you sick). You can also opt for raw food snack bars to add to your supplies.
If you’ve been on a raw diet for a while, make sure you have your list of favorite foods as well as a list of foods that cause allergies or those that just don’t agree with your system. Know each item’s shelf life so that you can plan ahead with your shopping. (Also take note of customs policies at airports which don’t allow fresh fruits or other produce coming in or out of their territory.)
Raw Food “Cooking”
Some of the major raw food basics about preparing food include many ways to mix, blend, sprout, juice or dehydrate ingredients. It basically boils down to your travel personality and length of your trip. If you like to pack everything short of bringing your own kitchen, you can be a lot more creative with your raw food menu. Those who like to travel light can just choose to live on salads with the help of a trusty knife.
Just remember to have enough storage kits and compartments for the essentials (at the very least, snacks) so that you won’t be caught starving in the middle of nowhere.
Tools of the Trade
Unless you’re just going to pick a fruit right off a tree somewhere, one raw food basic rule almost always applies: have a handy tool with you anywhere you go. This can include anything from a small knife, a portable cutting board to something bigger like blenders or dehydrators (if you really want to make something special). Shop around for reviews to get the equipment that you can be comfortable with.
And the most important thing to remember is to have fun! Traveling is not just about eating but taking all that scenery in.]]>
Raw foodists are known to be insanely creative, so get ready to take your own food adventure on the road. But first, do you have the necessary tools to help you eat raw while traveling?
1. Food prep equipment
There’s a famous pic of Jason Mraz (Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter/vegan raw foodist) in Speedo swimwear holding a knife that got some people interested in eating raw. He said he was in the middle of doing food prep when he took the photo to show off how good his body looked after he started eating raw. Jason does a lot of touring and relies on a lot of cutlery and blenders to make his own meals. He likes to stock powdered food from Sunrider/Healthforce Nutritionals, do a lot of juicing and has a ‘Movable Feast’ kit-type thing (equipment + food supplies) he checks-in at airports.
For your own kit: consider bringing a travel-blender, plastic funnel, steel grater, wood board, a good knife, and steel bottle (for drinking water and smoothies).
Dehydrated food and food powders are essential (very handy when you get stuck in a place where you can’t buy anything fresh). While on the road, stock up on:
- honey (in a leak-proof container – there’s a heart-ache in discovering your
favorite camera is now pickled in gooey mess…)
- vegetables (dehydrated and fresh)
- fruits (dehydrated and fresh)
- snack bars (pre-packaged raw snack bars from well-known brands)
- hemp protein powder – only of you are traveling in-country. Some customs
officials, especially those in far away countries with funny uniforms, might not
appreciate the intricacies of raw food cuisine…
Zip lock bags and vacuum containers can make supplies last longer. And so save you more time produce shopping!
4. A Rawfood recipe book
For those times you don’t feel like a salad, a simple recipe book can be a life saver. You don’t even have to wait – there’s no cooking time required!
5. Food hazards list
Animal raw food is usually not a good idea when traveling as they are prone to parasites and bacteria. You should also learn how to detect molds and fungus. Keep a list of foods unsafe for raw eating. Some of these include: raw milk, parsnips, kidney bean sprouts and some poisonous plants like Alfalfa sprouts and raw rhubarb. Keep your unsafe food list handy at all times. Don’t forget to bring water free hand sanitizers to keep food prep safe.
If you’re new to eating raw, you may be having some doubts sticking to your food preference, especially when traveling. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re doing this to be healthier and to feel more alive. It’s a habit worth keeping wherever you go.]]>
It all comes down to the kind of personality you have.
Raw foodists have different ways of taking their food vocation with them.
If you are easy going, you would probably choose to travel light. You don’t want to obsess about too many details or bring a lot of stuff. If you are this kind of traveler you just want to enjoy your trip, you don’t want be weighed down with too much food planning.
The problem with this is: you may run into some frustrating unexpected surprises.
Now you may say that’s impossible, because raw foodists have to be disciplined at all times. After all, the prep work is the main point of this eating lifestyle.
So to the more detail-oriented person, bringing every type of equipment is essential, no matter how bulky it is. If you belong to this group of people, you like to keep lists and get everything organized right down to the very last detail of your trip.
This is fine but sometimes but it can add more stress to the vacation itself. (Especially if you’re running late and have kids along.)
The trick is to find the right balance. Here are some points to consider when packing:
1. Where are you going?
Do some research and find out if there are good health food stores/ raw restaurants nearby. Have your standard shopping list ready. This may include a selection of produce, powders, snacks and other supplies that last a long time. If there’s no store, you can opt for farmer’s markets for fresh fruit and greens. You can also get fruits and salads at almost any hotel or restaurant.
2. How long will you be staying at your destination?
Consider the costs of eating out, making your own stuff and buying supplies. The longer you’ll have to stay, the bigger the chance that you’ll be making your meals often. You can save time with these tips:
One rawfood guru doesn’t like bringing his bulky blender so he just likes to pour honey over everything else. A gooey gourmet delight.
A popular rawfood chef relies on a portable blender for smoothies. This is another excellent time saver. Her favorite is mixing bananas and oranges, including some green powder and she’s good to go.
3. What kind of activities do you expect to be doing?
Rawfood planning is different for a person just traveling alone and another going with a group of people. Another rawfood blogger suggests traveling with like minded people so you don’t feel as pressured to limit yourself with your food choices.
If you expect a lot of sight seeing or walking around, its good to bring a lot of snacks with you. You can also try some exotic fruit that you find along the way.
4. What will you do in case of emergencies?(a. no supplies, b. you’re unexpectedly detained somewhere with no viable food choices)
Some people like to carry fruit around with them, rawfood snack bars or just a home made smoothie they make before leaving their accommodation.
Another raw foodie suggests bringing powders and water and just make your own concoction right were you are. You can store your powders in a baby powder container that has different compartments. Don’t forget bring to water everywhere you go. Its important to stay hydrated at all times.
In any case, the point is to always expect the unexpected. But make sure you still make room for spontaneity! The secret is to make your trip about what you want to do and not about just eating. Happy Traveling!]]>