If you want to transform your life and your health, Raw Challenge
will help you to do just that. You are about to embark on your own personal Raw Challenge, and using this book as your guide, you will begin the transition to becoming the best “you” you can be. The quest to grow emotionally, spiritually, and physically is a lifelong endeavor. I am always striving to expand and grow beyond my current limitations; in my mind, there is no ceiling on what you can accomplish. Once I started to live a healthier lifestyle with raw foods, I grew so much emotionally and spiritually. You would not believe how much bad food choices and an unhealthy lifestyle can hold you back from reaching your true potential. Raw Challenge
will help you on your journey to transform yourself and your health. To have peace in your heart and mind is a priceless gift. By changing what you eat, you will begin to feel and look better. You’ll start to feel better about yourself and your circumstances.
Last fall Drew Hunt, the café manager at Kimberton Whole Foods (my local health food store) approached me about holding a Raw Challenge at their original store in Kimberton, Pennsylvania. As a passionate supporter of the raw lifestyle (not to mention the fact that Kimberton Whole Foods is practically my second home), my response was an immediate, “Sure, let’s do it!”
This book is a product of the experiences from this Raw Challenge. The participants in my Challenge were not world renowned raw chefs sequestered to a beautiful desert island—though that would have been nice! The participants, my “Raw Challengers,” were real people living in the real world—people you can relate to. They were changing and adapting their lives while balancing their everyday routines at work, at home, with their family and friends. Many of the recipes in this book were created by the Raw Challengers themselves, which means if they can create recipes, so can you. I want you to see that this inspiring group of people is just as amazing as you are, and if they had the courage to change their diet and lifestyle, so can you.
The format that we used for the Raw Challenge is the same format that we have used in this book. We have a proven track record. It worked for our Challengers and it will work for you.
Be content with living and eating a healthy lifestyle. People often think they are giving up what they enjoy by eating healthfully. However, the reality is that when you eat a healthy, raw diet you are actually gaining so much more. One of the biggest benefits of eating raw is that you are emotionally balanced. Not only do you have more energy, but you are also calmer, more at peace. I want to live dynamically, and the only way I have found to do that is to live this lifestyle. Once you change your mind to see what you are gaining you will realize that eating healthy is a wonderfully positive change. Many of us think that the struggle of switching to a healthy diet is going to kill us when in reality not
eating healthy will kill us. We think if we eat healthy we are sacrificing something, when in reality we are opening a new and exciting world with great and wonderful potential.
Whether you are a novice or have been eating a raw diet for years, we all have our own reasons for choosing raw foods. As baby boomers, many of us thought that we somehow would be exempt from aging and getting wrinkles. Yet we were wrong, and the wrinkles came. The good news is, by living and eating healthy, I honestly feel as if I am getting younger instead of older. In fact, my general practitioner once said to me that I am the healthiest person in his practice, which sees approximately 3,500 patients. If you eat healthfully, and get regular exercise and rest, chances are you will no longer need to see your doctor other than for annual checkups. In addition to improving your overall health, a raw diet can also increase your energy levels. I have found that I now have so much energy that I leave the Energizer Bunny® in the dust. I always strive to be the best that I can be and to feel my best, and eating raw enables me to continue this quest.
Perhaps you are not switching to raw foods for health reasons, but because you want to look good. When you start to eat healthfully, your body feels better and it shows on your face. There is a “raw glow” on the skin of those who eat healthy. I have had more people say to me, “You know why people will want to eat like you: because of your skin.” I also know people who, after starting a raw diet, notice that their grey hair has turned back to their original hair color.
Healthy eating will not only strengthen you physically but it will also give you an opportunity to be strengthened emotionally and spiritually. Eating and living healthy empowers you and gives you confidence in what you think and feel in the here and now. When living a healthy lifestyle you are no longer numbing yourself with cooked foods, meat, alcohol, and so on. This gives you an opportunity to really look inward and decide whether you like what you see or if you need to make some changes in your diet and in your life. Oftentimes, we spend too much of our lives living in a fog, without being fully awake and living in the present. The raw lifestyle gives you an opportunity to truly wake up. How to Follow the Raw Challenge
We’ve broken this book down into three main sections to make it easier for you to read and incorporate into your lifestyle. In Part I, you will find an overview of what a raw diet entails, along with a discussion of the many health benefits of a raw diet. You will also find guidance on what you can expect during and after your Raw Challenge, based on the real-life experiences of myself and my Raw Challengers. Throughout the book, we have also included helpful tips and tricks to help you on this journey.
Part II makes you feel like I am right there with you holding your hand throughout your personal journey. You will find entries for each of the 30 days in your Raw Challenge. Each day comes complete with meal suggestions for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, using the recipes found in Part III. You can also select a daily snack from Part III to keep you full and satisfied all day long. The daily entries in Part II also include helpful tips as well as inspirational quotes and testimonials from fellow Raw Challengers to keep you motivated. Each day also includes journaling space for you to add your own notes and experiences.
Part III offers over 75 wonderful recipes from Kimberton Whole Foods, my Raw Challengers, and even some from my own personal collection. We hope you enjoy trying our recipes as much as we enjoyed creating them. Also, don’t be afraid to try creating some of your own recipes! If you are new to raw foods, start by trying out some of the dishes in Part III. Once you feel comfortable making raw meals, let your creativity run wild and put together your own raw creations!
As you may know from some of my previous books, such as Raw Inspiration
, I really enjoy using quotes, sayings, and stories that inspire me in my daily journey. Similarly, I have included wonderful testimonials from each of the Raw Challengers who wished to share their stories. These stories will touch your heart and quite possibly move you to tears, as they did me. Turn to these stories any time you are in need of some motivation or encouragement throughout your own personal Raw Challenge.
The Raw Challenge, and all of its facets, has the opportunity to touch and transform every part of you. How do I know this? Because I live this lifestyle and I have seen it happen to myself and many others. So please join me on this journey toward becoming the new and improved you