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New eager raw foodie!

Hello everybody! My name is Odalys, and I’ve been hanging around this site for a few months. Raw food peeked my interest back then but now I feel my heart is in the right place to be embrace the lifestyle. I tried going raw cold turkey in march for two weeks (without knowing much about raw food i might add), breakfast and lunch were always fine, but dinner never seemed to satisfy me. I was also very bloated and constipated, overall, it was not a very nice experience. I know now that it was all part of the process and that I should of stuck it out.. lesson learned I guess.

Anyways, this is my first proper post, I will be very active asking lots and lots of questions. I’m a college student and don’t have the resources to buy fancy schmancy dehydrators and what-not, so this is why I need all the help and advice I can get!!

Oh, I’d also like to add that thanks to some of you, I’ve been shampoo free for three weeks now! ;)

I look forward to meeting all of you!


  • Welcome to the group Odalys. If you have a blender, you’re on your way. I use that more than any other tool in my kitchen besides a knife. It doesn’t have to be a Vitamix, although that may be something you want down the line as your interest grows. I used a simple, cheap one for years until it finally burned out. Now I use an OsterFusion blender that I bought online for much less than the commercials on TV sell them for. Anything will work if you want it to! There are many transitional recipes here that use simple tools.

    Success in your journey. Allison

  • Welcome!

  • Thanks guys!!

    123- I have a magic bullet, easy clean up and its enough since I only prepare meals for me and my boyfriend.

    Is it normal to eat a lot of fats in the beginning? I’ve been snacking a lot on nuts and seeds because they seem to fill me up in the same way a bowl of rice or pasta would. I imagine it’s just a phase… but I also don’t want to gain a lot of weight.

    Secondly, I live in Tampa, there’s no farmers markets here, natural food stores are scarce, raw friendly restaurants non-existent. You’d think since florida is tropical you’d see an abundance and of fruits and veggies in unimaginable variety but it’s actually quite the opposite :( What do you guys do when you’re stuck in such raw-unfriendly cities??

  • I sometimes order online from Diamond Organics. I have a similar situation about getting organic food where I am. I live in Northestern New Mexico in a mountainous area, population 57 and the nearest town is 27 miles away. They have no source for organic produce there, no agriculture. This is beef country.

    The shipping from Diamond is extremely high and sometimes they send items in their sampler packs that I don’t eat. To order per item is cost prohibitive for me and so are the samplers sometimes. The food is usually good, but sometimes it’s picked before it’s ripe. That defeats the purpose of spending so much for good food (IMO).

    I don’t know if everyone eats a lot of fats in the beginning, but the nuts satisfy the need for crunch. They seem more filling even though they don’t provide all the necessary nutrients. I juiced a lot when I first went raw because of the physical difficulty I had in preparing my own meals at the time. I think you’ll phase nuts out more over time. Maybe the cost will deter you.

  • Hi Odalys! We have a few things in common, I’m new as well, and I had the same thing with eating all the nuts & fats. I’m probably the only person to gain weight on a raw food diet, so now I’m trying to be much more restrictive with myself. No good advice though, as I’m still 20lbs overweight. =( Also, I currently live in Northern Virginia, but hope to relocate to Tampa this summer. I did some research a few weeks ago & found a restaurant called Grassroots that has some raw offerings. I sent a friend to go check it out for me & he said it was great! Not exactly sure where it’s located but he works off Himes & Busch & he was able to go for lunch (if that helps). And I think they may have a website.

  • Hey!

    I literally JUST left Tampa. The raw lifestyle is definitely do-able there. Publix, the main grocery store chain down there, has a fairly decent organic selection (depending on which one you shop at…Temple Terrace near USF is good, as is downtown Tampa near Davis Island). I usually went to Wild Oats (I-75 and Dale Mabry), Nutrition S’mart (Dale Mabry and Bearss or Fletcher, not sure which), or Abby’s (across the street from Nutrition S’mart on Dale Mabry) for bulk stuff. Nutrition S’mart is CHEAP. Cheap, cheap cheap. I cannot stress how affordable and how great their produce is. There is also a place on MacDill and Cypress in South Tampa that is AMAZING. Its called Nature’s Harvest and they are quite reasonably priced as well, with a selection of raw essene breads and goodies, and also a good bulk section.

    Grassroots is really good, but unfortunately not great, they’re usually understaffed. However, they have an amazing selection of raw milks, smoothies, and juices. I only complain because everything they serve raw I can basically make myself. :)

    You can find a decent dehydrator online for $30-40 if you wanna make crackers/chips etc. Thats not really something you’ll find a great variety of in Tampa. (a word of warning when you order one: be sure that 1. theres a temperature gauge 2. it comes from a smoke free home and 3. no one’s used it for MEAT. I learned all of this TODAY unfortunately when I opened the box and got an awful whiff of someone’s 30-year pack-a-day habit. Heh, it happens I guess).

    Needless to say, when I was living in Tampa I ordered lots of things online. (Raw cacao powder/butter for making chocolates, some prepared foods, raw stuff i couldn’t find in stores, etc). Borders (Dale Mabry & Cypress) actually has an enormous selection of raw food books that you can sit and read and get ideas from, which really helps if you’re on a budget. :)

    OH, and there’s a raw food meetup there! Its pretty cool, if you go to meetup.com you can find details.

    Sweetwater Organic Farm is a CSA in the Carrolwood area that is great. You can volunteer there and they’ll usually hook it up with a few heads of greens, or you can buy stuff, or you can get a membership (a bit pricey but really worth it).

    You can find tons of avocados/oranges if you feel like doing some foraging, too! It seems like everyone has them in their backyards and lots of people let them go to waste.

    I think I’m done. :) If you still have questions, let me know what part of town you live in and I might be able to give you some other places.

    Good Luck!

  • ZoeZoe

    Hi and Welcome! I think nuts and fats are just fine as long as you eat truly raw nuts. Check out my husband and mine website for info on what nuts are raw on our Dead Food List I’ve seen Vitamixes and dehydrators going really cheap in the USA on ebay. I think a dehydrator really helps fill in the gaos, when you want some dry food as fresh raw food is all “wet” and we are just not used to it and it makes for cooked food cravings when the dry food gap isn’t filled. But if you live somewhere hot maybe you can make cracker and bread and pizza crusts by drying them in the sun?

  • Thanks guys!! Al – You went above and beyond with information!! I live on busch and 50th street at the moment, I’m still learning my way around and unfortunately don’t know much of south tampa. Right now I go to Chuck’s natural food store on 56th and fowler, and buy my produce ALL THE WAY IN ZEPHYRHILLS, not the greatest, but that’s where my parents live and is definitely cheaper than getting it at publix. I’ve actually never heard of Nutrition Smart, Abbys or Wild Oats so I’m defnitely going to google them and check them out during the week. You’ve got me all excited! As far as the raw food meetup, I’ve known about it for some time, but I am very very shy. Since I’m so new I’m afraid to show up to these people’s houses without any food (im still learning to make raw food, and dont want to show up with a green salad!) I think there’s a meetup in a week or so, I know sucking it up and just going would be the best thing for me right now. I would really benefit from the support! Being the weird vegan health-freak girl is not so fun sometimes. Thanks again, you’ve given me a lot to think about… if you’ve know of any more places near USF, just let me know!

    raw_mama – gaining weight is always frustrating, I remember putting on a good 10 lbs when I went vegan…. I thought, this isn’t suppose to be happening!! If you move to tampa, I’d love to have a raw friend!!! I’ve heard of grassroots but unfortunately nobody is willing to go with me :o(Hopefully I will get my wish and go on my birthday (july 7th)

    Thanks again, if there’s anybody else living or visiting the tampa area, I’d be more than happy to meet up with some like minded individuals!

  • ZoeZoe

    You can go to a pot luck with a bag of ripe organic fruit and I am sure everyone would love you for it!

  • There’s a really big farmer’s market (nothing’s organic though) at Hillsborough and 30th Street. Its VERY cheap and the selection is huge! Its always open 24 hours, too, which was the main reason I shopped there.

  • Hi Odalys! I have been raw for quite some time now and I have the dehydrator, two kinds of juicers, mandoline, spiral slicer, blender, etc. The ones I use mostly are my juicers and blender. Dehydrated foods make you feel dehydrated, and I don’t think nuts and seeds are an optimal food for a human diet.Lots of fresh juicy fruits (incl. avocado and coconut for the healthy oils), veggies, juices, sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, etc), smoothies, dk. leafy greens…these are what make me feel best. The fancy recipes which include a lot of nuts and seeds and additional ingredients just don’t do it for me. Simple, clean, pure and raw still is the best in my opinion. Hmmm, let’s see, pick one….

    1) a fancy, raw, Peaches and (cashew) Cream pie in a Vanilla- Almond crust, OR…

    2) a fresh, juicy, ripe, sweet peach all on its own…

    I’ll now pick that lone, lovely peach over that nutty fruit pie any day, hands down. I also recommend Shazzie’s Detox Your World and Detox Delights books. Her recipes stick to the simple approach. Sometimes the simplest things in life really are the best, as I’ve been finding out, and this especially pertains to raw and living foods lifestyle.

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