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What is California like?

RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

Hello everybody, I am so excited! My mother and I are planning on moving to California in a year or two, because that is where I plan to to college and want to build a good lifestyle. I know there is a raw vegan village in Ojai (is Ojai in Southern California?), and we are thinking about that because it looks so nice. I have never been anywhere in the US except MD where I am now. We are trying to decide where in CA to move, though. For those of you who live in CA, what is the raw food part of it like and what is the best place to move there? Which fresh fruits are available, any unusual foods to be excited about? Thanks for any input!


  • southernloversouthernlover Raw Newbie

    My husband and I are planning on going out there. We want to go to a raw food nutrition school out there. I’ve never been, but my husband says it’s wonderful. A massive earthquake is supposed to hit California, though, in the next 30 years. We’ll see. Lol.

  • We’re getting an earthquake??!? OMG how exciting.

    I, for one, LOVE california for the most part. A few parts (money) I could leave behind. There is a huge variety of foods available year-round depending on where you shop. I’d say the BEST area for a raw foodist would be San Francisco and LA, because there is a wide variety of raw food restaurants around. I live right around the Disneyland/Anaheim area (no full disclosure!) and I know several good markets to shop at. Henry’s Farmers Market

    Costco, 99 Ranch Markets, various year-round street markets, Trader Joe’s,

    At henry’s they have great prices and increasingly more organic produce, Costco has got you covered on bulk bananas, oranges, berries, frozen fruits, giant pineapples, great quality seasonal fruit (peaches, apricots) and big bags of nuts. At the 99 Ranch you can by a 9 ct. box of young coconuts for around 6-7 bucks, and they often have durian too! It smells like fish in there (it’s asian owned) but they also have great prices on bulk herbs and spices too.

    Unusual foods…well, we have great Dates here, Apricots are the bomb too…Apples are abundant (try going up to Riley’s Farm/Oak Glenn! You can pick your own Berries and apples!), we grow Almonds here too, and all-in-all, there is access to whatever food you can dream of. Not so much the exotic and rare fruits that I can’t even pronounce (no starfruits or jackfruits or…sapotes?) but there are Cherimoyas every now and then. OH and pomegranates rock.

    Try http://restaurants.welikeitraw.com/ to see where the restaurants are most abundant.

  • Slosh-uhSlosh-uh Raw Newbie

    San Francisco!!! We San Franciscans are awesome! There are lots of raw foodists here and multiple raw food resturants and if you want to live out near the ocean rent isn’t too expensive either.

    Lots of good farmers markets, a good co-op, and lots of cool people.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    My bf and I just moved to Mountain View, CA a few months ago. Mountain View is in Northern Cali in the SF Bay Area in the South Bay – better known as Silicon Valley – not too far from San Jose. We are right near Google, NASA, Ebay, Yahoo, Microsoft and all those popular tech companies – too bad it is SOOO hard to get a job right now though because of the recession. The job situation is pretty tight out here. RawKidChef, You are young so you dont have to worry about that part at least. What does your mom do? In a few years, it will be better jobwise I hope!

    Yes, Ojai is in Southern Cali – it is sort of an “artsy” type of town! I heard it is expensive though!

    We really decided on this area because I am IT (or WAS I should say) and I thought the job prospects would be good but we got here a few weeks before the recession started – I haven’t had any luck so we are struggling. My bf has friends around here which is another reason why we picked this area. My bf is working on trying to get an investor for a new type of dehydrator he is building (will cut dehydrating time IN HALF!) but so far everyone that is interested doesn’t have the money! Definately hard times right now!

    I am not really liking the area I am in right now – the people aren’t very friendly and they seem to be mostly into their cars and making alot money. Since I haven’t been able to get a job here, we are considering moving up even farther North – like towards Eureka.

    But basically, moving to Cali has been my dream for the last 10 years or so – I am from Chicago. I can’t tell you how tired I was of snow, snow, snow and more snow! I hate the cold! We left right before all those big storms hit this year so we got lucky in a way. I couldn’t help but have a sigh of relief when our friends were telling us about all those snow storms and ice and it was in the high 60s and sunny here! :)

    If you are hate the cold and snow, you will love most of California (there is snow in the mountain areas). My cats are just loving this sunny weather. They sit in the “sunspots” and soak it up – They are so much more happier here!

    For raw food, both Northern Cali (SF Bay Area) and So Cal have there benefits. Here in SF Bay Area we have lots of farmers markets and they are year around. I live near a really good one and I can bike there – I got some raw unpasteurized almonds last week – fresh from the farm!

    Plus we have raw restaurants like Cafe Gratitude and Cafe Solestice. There are also alot of Raw Food Potlucks here – my bf and I are going to one tomorrow. The stores here carry more of a selection of raw stuff than I had seen when I was back in Chicago. Like the Whole Foods here has raw stuff like breads and crackers but the Whole Foods in Chicago never had anything like that.

    So Cali has Julianos and Roxannes (Is Roxannes still open?) and several other raw restaurants too – I have only briefly traveled through LA so I can’t tell ya all the raw places there.

    So Cali is warmer than Northern Cali most of the time. But the air in LA can get pretty smoggy. It seems a bit cleaner where I am at but not perfect.

    Downside is that cost of living is high here. So is the food! But if you hit the farmers market you are getting a good price for the freshest stuff and it is worth it.

    And yes, you will often see some more “unusual” fruits and veggies that you will not always see back in the other states. If you like Durian, you can get some here at the Ranch 99 and is pretty fresh. Also, if you are lucky, you can have an avocado, orange or lemon tree in your backyard!

    If you like nature, the ocean and spending time outdoors in the sun, you will love it here! :)

    Southernlover – You might want to check out Living Light Culinary Institute in Fort Bragg. The people that run it are really nice!

  • MOTHMOTH Raw Newbie

    Great thread…I’ve been checking out a few universities in California myself, for a move hopefully within the next year.

  • Hi RawKidChef,

    I moved out to southern Cali (Woodland Hills to be exact) about 4 years ago to live with my boyfriend.

    I just wanted to add that if you enjoy hiking check out http://www.localhikes.com Ever since I moved out to Cali from Chicago my love for the outdoors has grown considerably and Cali’s climate is great for being active outside.

    In terms of food it seems like more stores carry organic produce. Farmer’s markets are easy to find.

  • There’s a whata whata WHAT in Ojai I live in Santa Barbara, it is near Ojai, and yes, that’s in Southern CA. I have never heard of this raw vegan village… I just googled it, and can’t find anything except something from 2007 calling it a spa. So, I’d suggest not getting your hopes up, and not moving to Ojai unless you have a better reason than that. Ojai is a very small town, and looking it up on Happy Cow, there is only one veggie restaurant there. Which is one better than SB, which has none, but it’s not raw. Sorry :( California is a nice place to live, I’ve lived here all my life. San Francisco is very veg friendly, and probably raw friendly. I’m been to Julliano’s (raw) in LA, which was good but VERY expensive. I’ve been to a raw place in San Diego called Cilantro Live which was delish and not too $$. Here in SB, I go to the farmer’s market every weekend and there are tons of different veggies, but fruits aren’t as extensive. Citrus, avocados, and berries and the most common, but there are also a couple people who sell apples, dates and olives. We have a health food store called Lazy Acres that has recently stocked up on packaged raw stuff, from the Leaf brand, among others. Pretty cool, but can be expensive, and I don’t like buying stuff with all the packaging to throw away. Hope this helps, good luck on your move.

  • kundalalitakundalalita Raw Newbie

    hmmmm what is california like? well, its so often sunny that if it rains people think there’s something wrong! If you are in you’re classroom and it starts to drizzle outside you might here gasps followed by “is it raining?” inside the room, no joke! hehe. but nevertheless you can pretty much wear flip flops all the time like me!

    in southern california its pretty laid back, unless you are near los angeles. there’s lots of cars (you pretty much need one if you wanna get around, bus system not the best), and lots of cell phones, and hollywood wannabes, but for the most part people are pretty approachable. it seems like everyone here is from somewhere else so they’re all pretty tolerant of differences and i think both foreigners and natives here are somewhat “unshockable” after being exposed to so many different types of people, both in good and bad ways, so “weird” diets wont be such a big deal to accept!

    raw food is so easy to find, especially premade delicious things, but it can be expensive….in the city or surrounding metropolitan areas at least (although its often only closer to the city like downtown or east la that you find these awesome fruit guys who will cut up fruit for you out of their cart and sell it super cheap) if you go more south of the city, like to the south bay beach cities where i’m from or inland cities, the produce in stores becomes very cheap. farmers markets are always around, and yes, definitely check out the nature scene as Satchy says. you could also take up any number of other activities; yoga, any type of dance, capoeira, martial arts, if you are into animals there are so many animal shelters that need help here too!

    i dont know as much about ojai, except that the nature is outstanding! theres lots of resorts there…. and a lot of farms are nearby so it sounds like you’ll be pretty close to good sources of raw foods

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Wow thanks for all the answers!! wow southernlover there’s an earthquake? OMG YES how exciting!!

    In the raw vegan village they say there are lots of tropical/exotic fruits growing, sapotes, cherimoyas, lomquats, and some other weird fruits that I can’t even remember the name of. Wow that would be so cool to grow fruit and nut trees in my yard. Right now we have a condo but when we move the Cali we might have money for a small house with a little land for growing trees. Thanks for the link, very helpful.

    Slosh-uh: Wow great, San Francisco sounds awesome. :)

    queenfluff – cool! Northern Cali sounds awesome, we may end up there. That would be interesting to live near some of the biggest companies in the world. Oh yes, there is a recession you did mention that earlier. My mom is a psychiatrist – she works solo so she usually rents office space and then recruits patients. I guess that wouldn’t be so hard, compared to having to find a job. Thanks for that info. Yes Ojai I think is very expensive, but the 20 houses (yes only 20!!) are pretty cheap – range from 50,000 to a million at least for Cali the houses there start out pretty cheap, I think. Wow, a dehydrator that cuts time in half! AWESOME!! Yes, I would imagine that would be hard to afford. Between high gas prices (which are supposed to soar even higher) it is a little tough out here too. Barely anyone could afford a dehydrator like that.

    Some areas in Cali I guess aren’t very friendly, those that are obsessed with money and wealth. We get a bit of that in MD too. That would be very cool to go farther north. I wonder if the weather fet cooler in the ore northern part of Cali. Yes, I love the sunny weather! Usuallythe winters in MD are freezing bitter cold, and the summers are blistering hot. Sounds alot better in California. Yeah, I’ve heard that Chicago is VERY cold – lots of wind and snow and all sorts of unpleasant things! I think a trip up to the mountains ocaasionally might be nice – I think! But I HATE rain (thunderstorms are exciting though, but then afterwards is all damp and humid – yuck!) and I would LOVE a sunny area. Yay! Hahaha, my cats always go in the dinng room of our condo where there are no blinds (actually there are no blinds at all in the house- it’s really nice when all the sun comes in) and they sit in the sun, it is so funny to watch, they would love Cali too!

    Wow, sounds like alot more raw food than anything in MD. Julianos is pretty well known, isn’t he? Writes recipes and published books? Sounds very exciting!

    I would imagine the air more in Nothern Cali would be a lot cleaner, dunno, just a thought. Farmer markets are usually cheaper, that’s good to know. I have never tried durian but now I ahve really been wanting to lately! I would love to grow fruit trees in my yard, that would be so much fun!

    I really do love nature, walking in the woods is very cool. I have a snake, mot people are scared of snakes but this one is a baby and he’s really cute.

    Thanks for all that info! Very cool!

    Starjen42: Yes, there is a raw vegan village. Just go to http://www.rawveganvillage.com. Unfortunately it is too small and is basically just alot of land. It has a spa, maybe that’s what you were confused by, and a raw retreat. I wish I could go there, it’s just too small. Thanks ofr the info averybody I appreciate it!

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