Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tips to Awesome Raw Chef Skills

There is a Raw Chef in all of you!

If you have just begun your Raw Foods adventure, these tips shall serve you as a guidance to whipping up delicious recipes for yourself, friends and loved ones:

There are 5 fundamental flavors to any good dish, and there is one very important “Arm” which carry these flavors into the foods to enhance its taste and texture.

The 5 Fingers

1) Acidic: This flavor is sourish, and breaks down the tough fibers of tough foods (especially cruciferous veges like cauliflower and broccoli), making them more palatable as well as digestible. It also complements the other 4 “Fingers” to bring out a bouquet of flavors.

2) Salty: Any dish void of this flavor, cannot help but taste bland. Especially for somebody who’ve just transitioned onto living foods, their taste buds are still programmed with the heavier cooked foods flavors (usually with oils, table salt, artificial flavorings etc) , and they are going to find it even more tasteless. In raw foods preparation, we use sea salt, organic shoyu and sometimes miso to achieve this flavor.

Besides flavoring, salt can also assist the acids in breaking down food fiber.

3) Sweet: The moment we add sweetness into any dish, we find that the taste is enhanced greatly. It compliments the saltish and acidic flavors, making them more intense. When we eat them, the combination makes it into an enjoyable experience where different parts of our tongues registers the various tastes all at the same time, making it a great dish. It also balances the sourish and salty tastes.

4) Spicy: This may not be the dominant flavor in the dish, unless it is a curry, salsa, chili etc recipe where people would expect spiciness to be the key flavor. In all other dishes, just a hint of it simply works wonders. You can achieve this flavor with chili powder, curry powder and pepper (some of the more common ones).

5) Bitter/Pungent: Sounds unlikely? Wait till you add in a little of this bitterish taste, and you find that the whole dish tastes heavenly. Some common options include garlic, tumeric and onion powder.

The Arm
Why is it called the Arm? Because it is indispensable! The Arm is simply a fat. Any raw fat like virgin seed/nut oils, avocados, sprouted raw nuts/seeds can be used to hold the 5 “fingers” above. Fat carries the 5 flavors mentioned above into the fibers of the foods (for eg the salad veges in a salad dish) and accentuate the tastes).

Although these are good tips to use as a guideline for making awesome raw dishes, please bear in mind that these are culinary tips; in other words the objective is to make a raw dish tastes flavorful and delicious. If your objective is to lose weight, or you have a certain fat content to watch, simply integrate your own guidelines whenever you are making food for yourself by using common sense.

I hope these shall be useful to you; cheers to the Raw Chef in You!

© Copyright Linda Loo, Light Love Laughter


Raw Food Diet : Staying Raw On The Go

While waiting for raw fast food chains, gourmet raw food cafes and raw vegan snacks stalls to be set up in our neighborhoods, staying raw in Singapore and Asia remains a definite challenge.

Besides the most commonly asked question about what I eat outside, there were also remarks like “troublesome, anti-social, impossible etc” coming from friends and relatives.

But challenging does not mean impossible! After turning raw, I’m grateful to say that I’m more alive than ever, still living in Singapore, and I still have my circle of loving friends.

1) What Do I Eat For Lunch/Dinner Outside?

Firstly, I do not follow meal-times – I eat whenever when I’m hungry and I feel like eating. “Lunch” or “Dinner” to me, is more of a connotation to coin hanging out or social time with loved ones (including friends).

There are times when I go to “lunch”, and its purely for catching up or social time. Depending on whether I’m hungry or not, I may just have a glass of water at the table.

Of course, some occasions may call for you to at least nibble something at the table, to put the rest of the diners at ease. In such cases, I order a plain salad or a fruit platter (with no dressings).

If I’m hungry, I usually bring my own food. These can be easily obtainable from fruit stalls or supermarkets – a mixture of pre-washed greens, bananas and any other fruits that catches my fancy.

Or, if I’m short on time for that day, I simply pack a couple of bananas together with some home-made nut butter in my bag.

2) What To Order In Restaurants?

Most, if not all restaurants, have abundant supplies of raw food in their kitchen. Whatever they serve on the dining table are all derived from raw foods.

The difference is whether you dare to ask for them, or not!

When its my turn to order, I’d tell the waiter to make an entree size plain salad, with every possible kind of raw vegetables they can find in the kitchen.

The size is important here – make sure you repeat to the waiter that you want a huge one because you are going to eat that as a main dish.

Ask for some cold-pressed olive oil, if available, on the side.

If its a long lunch/dinner, where the rest of the diners will be served 4-5 courses, then order an additional large fresh fruit platter, free of dressings.

From experience, traditional Chinese restaurants are the ones which I have a little more problem with. They may not have that much raw vegetables to spare, but they can still serve fresh fruits, if requested.

3) Do I Get Hungry Constantly? And How To Prevent That?

Before I start my day, breakfast consists of a super huge smoothie and/or mixed fresh fruits. When I’m out for the whole day, my bag is well stocked with nibbles like sesame balls, goji berries and dried nuts.

These nibbles are condensed in calories and go a long way to keep hunger pangs at bay.

Because of an active lifestyle, I get hungry pretty easily. And I’m grateful to know that the best pick-me-ups are not energy bars, sports drinks or protein shakes.

In fact, the easiest and best way to recharge energy levels is by eating fresh fruits – which gives us good old simple sugars.

For those of you who are active, the next time you complete a long hike or run, try having an apple or banana, instead of reaching for that sports drink or protein shake.

Your body will thank you by rewarding you with energy and happiness.

4) Do I Think Staying on Raw Foods Is Sustainable?

Honestly, before Asia evolved to the stage where there are as many eco-farms/raw vegan/organic cafes as fast food/coffee joints, preparing my own meals is still essential for me.

However, it did not stop me from doing the things I used to do, or jeopardizing worthy companionships. In fact, my life got bigger and bigger after I turned raw.

Ultimately, there is no perfect situations or scenarios. The difference is in making the best out of whatever we have, in a way which works for us.

So, my answer to this last question is a definite “YES”!

So come on, have a raw meal or 2 today, rejoice and celebrate your life! :)

© Copyright Linda Loo, Light Love Laughter



Staying Raw on the Go!

Dear cherished reader, do you find it a challenge to stay raw on the go, especially with holiday travels at this time of the year? Check out the following Raw Food Travel Tips to help make your journey a more fulfilling one!

1) Know where you are going. Do a search on the place where you are traveling to, either via a google search or asking friends who have been there. If you are visiting somebody in that country, then check with them on the food options, vegan eateries & cafes, as well as places where you can get fresh plant produces.

2) Get hold of a cheap blender while you are there. If you have friends there, ask them if it’s possible to borrow a used blender for the time being; or perhaps engage their help to buy a cheap one from electrical stores. Yes you have to spend a bit of money, but it’s gonna be worth it! If you are on a holiday, it makes more sense to use the time to sightsee, reconnect with loved ones/friends as compared to chomping down bowls after bowls of salad. Drinking your Greens in the form of smoothies is going to be so much more efficient; although the texture will not be fantastic, this still serves the purpose of meeting your mineral requirements.

3) Go well prepared. For example when I travel, the following are some essential items to bring:

  • Pure Synergy Powder (1 heaping scoop per day of stay)
  • 100 g of Sprouted Pumpkin/Sunflower Seeds, Almond/Cashew Nuts (per 1.5 days of stay)
  • 100 g of Dried Apricots/Figs/Dates/Raisins (per 2 days of stay)
  • 1 Tbs Virgin Coconut Oil (per day of stay)
  • 1 Tbs Raw Cacao Nibs/Powder (per day of stay)
  • 30 g Sea Salt (per 1 week of stay)

This will serve you well in case there is insufficient greens or EFAs intake – sometimes it is not possible to get enough quality greens & raw plant fats when we travel; the Pure Synergy covers mineral/chlorophyl requirements, seeds/nuts/coconut oil supply the EFAs and Raw Cacao/dried fruit to give energy when fresh fruits are unavailable.

Just make sure that the seeds & nuts are sprouted and dehydrated beforehand to make them easier to digest.

If you are traveling with a loved one/partner/friend, simply multiply the portions by the number of people in the gang. (Except for the sea salt – which you can use for seasoning when making your own salads, or you can order a salad at restaurants and request them to skip the table salt.)

4) If you are traveling with a buddy, it’s highly encouraged to tell him/her upfront about your diet preferences. It is of course much more meaningful to do Raw together while traveling – you share the chores of preparing foods to bring, shopping for groceries and making meals together!

However, do recognize that eating raw is a choice you make for yourself; if your buddy chooses otherwise, it is his/her right and you shall both discuss how to make it work while having different diets.

5) Use the Senses. It is not possible to find totally organic produces when traveling; the idea is to minimize conventional produces & get hold of as much organic/clean produces as you can. Before you buy or consume something, examine the crop carefully to see if there is any white residue (usually wax or spray); sniff at it and detect for peroxide (smells like smoke or sulphur). If you don’t like the scent, don’t buy it. Mother Earth has endowed us with wonderful senses to tell what is good and bad for our bodies.

Keep to fruits which are covered by skin – like Mangoes, Papayas, Avocados etc. These are the fruits which you can eat after removing the skin. Also, do a check with the local people there on what are the seasonal produces from that particular country. The chances of local seasonal produces (which are most likely low priced) being sprayed are lesser as compared to non-seasonal, non-local & costly imported fruits.

Hope these help! Have fun doing raw on the go!

(C) Linda Loo

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