We can do this the hard way:
Switch straight from JAM – Junk And Meat Eating
to RAVE – Raw And Vegan Eating
Or we can do it the easy way:
Ride the WAVE – Wholefood And Vegan Eating
All the way to RAVE
Whole grains are a WHOLE FOOD, and make WAVE so easy. They fill your tummy
and taste like take-aways when you add a bottled sauce. I'd buy the whole gamut of sauces at the health store — Thai, Mexican, Chinese... they all fell away over the years, as I Reached for Raw.
Grain are quick to prepare, quicker than washing leaves for salad, because they simmer away on their
own. They'll even cook in a thermos flask – no pot to watch!
OWN EXPERIENCE WITH STARCH
Starch was my salvation at the end of '92 when I first began the switch
to whole foods, on my way to raw. Looking back now, I see the two foods
that kept me slowly moving forward were:
Blended and juiced Greens, especially Energy Soup with living greens from
my Sprouter; and
Slow- and low-cooked whole Grains.
By the winter of 2004, 12 years later, I no longer ate cooked grains, except
for home-made bread occasionally. Desire for cooked rice or millet, for
pasta and potato, had finally left me.
Back to 1992, in the morning on the Brooklyn bus to Manhattan, I ate
sprouted buckwheat and quinoa porridge, blended raw in a mini-processor
with banana and dates. Then I wasn't hungry again till 2 pm.
At that time, I could never begin the day with fruit, as advised by
Natural Hygienists Harvey and Marilyn Diamond in Fit For Life. With
fruit, I'd always go out and buy a muffin. Better to eat my own sprouted
grains, than a white-flour muffin.
In the first year, I couldn't eat fruit anyway, because my teeth were
so painful. Today at 95% raw, I eat fruit only for breakfast all year round.
AND DINNER ON WEEKDAYS
For lunch in the '90's, I ate sprouted beans and baby greens with vegetable
fruits like tomato, cucumber, sweet red pepper or summer squash. I took
my own lunch to work. I finished off with home-made raw grain crackers
for a good taste in my mouth, like carrot cake cracker. I altered the colors
of my veggies each day – red, yellow, purple cabbage, and so on.
In the evenings after work, cooked grains were my staple. If I was craving
chips (crisps in UK, my favorite snack) on my way home from the subway,
I'd force myself to make it home. Then right away eat a bowl of cooked
millet with avocado and a teaspoon each of nutritional yeast and dulse
flakes, all mashed up together.
In the hot summer, I enjoyed sweet seed or nut milks for supper, with
blended fruit and honey or brown rice syrup. My cells loved the glucose
in sweet nut milks, very satisfying. Grains were too heavy in the heat.
They sat untouched in my refrigerator all summer.
In the snowy New York winters, I had to eat grain every day or I'd be
freezing cold and starving hungry. Definitely they gave me the calories
and fuel I needed to feel warm and nourished. It was like getting out my
My favorite evening meal was cooked grain with sprouted chickpeas steamed
for 3-5 minutes, and a high-calcium green like kale or collard steamed
with the beans. The big-bean sprouts like chickpea or soya I always steamed,
only mung and lentil I could eat raw. Steaming softens and sweetens the
starch in big beans, and the cellulose in tough greens.
If I left out any one of the three – grains, sprouted beans or greens
– I never felt satisfied, and wanted my old junk food I'd eaten for decades.
But all three together kept me full and warm.
A VARIETY OF TASTES
I followed the principle of Variety. So every two days I'd cook a different
grain, to last me two evening meals. My favorites were brown rice (3-4
varieties mixed together), millet, whole barley (hulled, but not pearl
barley which is the same as white rice) and the high-protein non-hybridized
grains like kamut and quinoa.
I'd add sauce or a seasoning from the health food store, so the grains
tasted like take-aways. I avoided sauces with sugar, salt and oil. I kept
a variety – Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian curry. I figured most
of the meal was grain. A little factory-processed sauce wouldn't hurt me,
and it didn't.
At first I was cooking my grain to last a week in the refrigerator.
I thought the food's dead anyway so what's the difference if I keep it
for a week. Until a macrobiotic friend pointed out there's different degrees
of death. The longer you're dead, the more decayed you are.
From then on, I cooked only enough for two meals, and never kept my
cooked grains in the refrigerator. Macrobiotics is the expert on grains,
and they're totally against refrigeration.
I always store RAW grains and other seeds for sprouting in my refrigerator
if I've space. This way they retain a higher germination rate. They deteriorate
quicker when left out in the heat of the day, as any living baby would.
IN A LIFE OF RAW FOODS
Today at 95% raw I no longer cook any grains. I've lost all desire for
them. In the summer I'll make a dish such as raw sweet potato pie, and
in the winter I love cooked starchy vegetables such as butternut or yam,
slowly simmered on low heat.
Raw sprouted grain crackers I eat all year round if I can get them. I don't have time to make them myself.
A couple of days a week, I enjoy half a slice of home-made gluten-free bread or scone with
avocado when in season, or else home-made peanut butter and banana. If
I switch to 100% raw, I over-eat on nuts and dried fruits, an obvious craving
of my body for glucose.
Nuts and dried fruit don't give me what half a slice of bread
will. There's something missing in them. Everyone reports that when they
first go raw, they binge on nuts and dried fruits, but in time this passes.
Nuts and dried fruits are so heavy in my stomach, they're such a concentrated
food, whereas my home-made bread is light and nourishing. If you prefer
to be 100% raw, then you must eat a huge amount of raw fruit daily to cover
your calorie needs. Often you binge simply because you've not eaten enough
One slice of vegetarian pizza is 670 calories. That's 96 cups of green
leaves (one cup is 7 calories). Do you understand WHY you could be buying
pizza? Simply because you've not eaten 96 cups of greens today! Eat
More Fresh Fruit!
Fruit is the best source of calories, and grains, both cooked and sprouted,
while you're transitioning to raw.
I love seeing the gentle evolution when you add more raw to your diet.
One winter I recall toasted cheese with raw hot pepper was my daily meal.
A later year it was cooked grains. Since winter 2004 it's been simmered
squashes like butternut. Do you see how your body-mind chooses simpler
foods as you walk the path of raw?
95% raw keeps me focused on my dreams, working creatively for each one,
and keeps me happy and high. I don't get the stagnation that comes with
Thanks to raw foods, I'm no longer locked in a dead-end job where I'm
thinking, "Why am I here? This isn't the purpose of my life." I'm free
every day to enjoy myself and do what I want, write, or take my dog to the beach.
Unequivocally, it was cooked whole grains that got me here, along with
Refined grains short-change you, and keep you locked in a world where
you don't want to be. Whole grains will help you escape from the white
bread and cakes, cookies and chips.