By The Rawtarian

My name is Laura-Jane The Rawtarian, and I first went raw in August 2009 and it changed my life. As a result, I created this website, www.therawtarian.com, to share the easiest, most delicious raw vegan recipes with the word.

Since then I've had the privilege of teaching classes, creating two recipe apps, being interviewed on national radio, being featured in Vegan Life magazine, curating one of the most popular raw vegan recipe websites, hosting The Raw Food Podcast, and speaking at national food blogging conferences across North America--from Miami to Vancouver. It is an honor to spend my days changing the way the world eats, and I am humbled every day by you.

My "before" story

Although I was a long-time vegetarian, my diet was not healthy. I knew it, and my weight fluctuated up and up.

I was often snacking on pizza, chips, and lots of processed fruit juices. I didn't feel good. I was often moody and depressed.

I wasn't much of a cook and the foods that we ate were simple and unhealthy. For example, pasta with pesto sauce--with no salad or veggies. Breakfast was sweetened soy milk with mini wheats or another processed cereal.

I barely bought or ate any unprocessed vegetables.

Every year I gained five more pounds.

In the back of my mind I realized that if this five-pound-a-year-weight-gain continued, by the time I was forty I'd be at least fifty pounds overweight. I looked around. Many women at forty seemed to be fifty pounds overweight, so I accepted that this was the way it would be for me, too.

But enter raw food...

After the first two months of being a 100% raw vegan I had released ten to fifteen pounds. I looked great and I felt even better.

I've found preparing delicious raw foods to be so simple. Inspirationally simple.

Before I began my raw food journey, I was not comfortable in the kitchen. I had absolutely no confidence and no idea how to cook. I just made pasta and sandwiches and ate frozen pizza.

Learning how to prepare raw food has been an amazing and empowering experience for me. I started very rigidly following raw recipes, but after just two months I was creating some of my own recipes. With a limited number of ingredients--fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds--I find that I now understand more about how to combine food. I experiment so much more than I ever did before.

Will I be raw forever? I have no idea. All I can say is that right now I am still excited about the raw food lifestyle and being 100% raw.

Only time will tell where this journey takes me.

The purpose of this website is to inspire others to try and love this amazing lifestyle. Check out my best raw vegan recipes right here and make your first raw recipe.

Comments

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14 votes
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Emailed, Janie :)

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I love your story. I have a similar background- was a vegetarian from age 10-18, then starting eating fish, and slowly incorporated chicken. The reason I added those things was because I felt like I was a burden upon other people (eating at their homes, having them over). My husband and I are trying out a 100% raw diet for 7 days this week. I'm very excited about it, and a little intimidated. I love fruits/veggies and eating healthy, but for me it's all about being prepared and remembering them. So my question for you is- what do you do when people have you over for dinner? Do you eat what they serve you? I don't want to insult people by bringing my own food...

Thanks!! :)

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Hi Stacie,

You have hit some major nails on the head :)

1. Being prepared is the most important thing! Never leave the house without lots of good snacks, like easy to eat fruits like apples and bananas and a ziploc bag full of nuts, like almonds.

2. Re: going to other peoples' houses to eat is pretty much the hardest thing to do in all of this... :( Because, as you say, we don't want to offend or reject someone else's food. In general, the people to whom I accept a dinner invitation already know in advance that I am a raw vegan. Definitely eat beforehand and perhaps bring a BIG salad that everyone can share and that you can enjoy. Also, bringing a raw dessert is always a big hit, and it can be as simple as some lovely fruits. Good luck!

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You are in NB! I live close, on PEI!!

I don't do much bulk buying online, although I do buy my kelp noodles in bulk from www.kelpnoodles.com

I am not sure if this helps you, but there is a raw food lady in NS who does a lot of bulk buying. She might be able to help! Her name is Georgia - www.cuisineforlife.ca

Do you have a Bulk Barn near you?

Yes, that darned granola is crazy addicting.

Congrats on getting back to raw!

21 votes
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Hi Laura-Jane,

I'm just getting back into being raw after dabbling in it last summer for a while. To be honest I have no idea why I stopped, probably poor planning and preparation on my part I would imagine.

I'm finding that living in rural New Brunswick makes it a little difficult sometimes to find supplies though, even with the occasional trip to Moncton its sometimes hard to find ingredients. DO you have any addresses you could share for buying in bulk online?

Oh btw made your granola bars a couple of nights ago, they should come with a warning about the overwhelming desire they produce to eat all of them.

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Hello Laura-Jane. I've been wanting to go raw/vegan for many years, but ulcerative colitis and an inability to digest raw foods has stopped me every time.I recently found a probiotic and digestive enzyme that work well for me so I'm hoping to be successful this time around. I have MANY food allergies that prevent me from eating many of the healthful seeds, nuts and other foods that go with a raw lifestyle, but I'm hoping there will be enough other foods I can eat to have a balanced diet. I love your blog and will post my progress as I go.

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Hi Majeeda, Hopefully you've got a doctor and/or naturopath who can help you navigate through your health journey. Supportive medical practitioners are so important, but they aren't always easy to find!

Are there any nuts/seeds that you are able to consume?

Please keep me and readers posted here with your progress. :)

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Hi Laura-Jane! I'm happy that I've found your blog because I'm very interested in raw food, and although I think I couldn't do it 100 % (and also couldn't eat vegan), I feel that including a certain amounts of raw foods into my diet has really improved my well-being. I'm looking forward to reading more!

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Yes, the more fruits and veg you can incorporate into your diet the better!! :)

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Hi Laura-Jane! First of all, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed your simply, yet delicious recipes! I love the idea of being raw, but I don't often have the time for too much prep work. I'm a homeschooling mommy of 4, as well as part-time babysitter. My husband is NOT on board with raw at all. My oldest tolerates it and my baby likes some of it. Otherwise, it's just me! And let me tell you, it's been nearly impossible. It's too easy to eat what I'm making for everyone else. I've not been feeling good lately. Been putting on weight. Stress... so many things. I want to be raw because I truly believe it is the best way to go health wise. So why am I having such a hard time?!?! I read your blog on ruining your taste buds with SAD foods, and I couldn't agree more. How could an apple possible taste sweet when stacked next to a piece of pie or a chocolate chip cookie? Guess I'm looking for some encouragement...

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Also, I can't seem to find any raw breads here in the city. Can you recommend a place to find them online?

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Hi Laura-Jane! I'm new to the lifestyle and still inching my way toward more and more raw foods. Since I'm not a cook and am a "convenience" junkie, I'm going pretty slow, but I'm looking forward to trying some of your recipes...I need some recipes that are easy to take to work for lunch. Glad I found your website!

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Very inspiring! I can't wait to try some of your recipes!

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Hi Laura-Jane!
I have just 'discovered' you...I found you at rawfoodtalk and also I see you are on goneraw as well. My name is Bananna over there...and I'm Canadian too! (but Ontario)

Anyways, I lived the raw lifestyle much like you seem to be according to yoru little video, just one day at a time philosophy and lasted 7-8 weeks. Then another time for 4 weeks. Both times I got caught up in idealism 'are these nuts really raw anyway?', low fat, etc...and basically decided I wasn't doing it right and so what would be the difference of adding some cooked food in, instead then? ....I want to start over. I can't get the 'high raw' thing to work for me, it's a constant battle of which I am constantly losing! lol.

Anyways, I am really enjoying your site and just wanted to say hi! ...and thank for bringing back to square one :) Am looking forward to trying some of your recipes, they look just my style.

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Hi there,
I was wondering what your husbands initial feelings about raw were? Mine is not so eager to put it plainly. We both come from a meat and potato family so he has an unhealthy emotional attatchment to food, mainly starch and sugar. He also has a heart condition as well as being 50 pounds overweight at just 28. I so badly want to do this for him but the rest of the faily, too, as we are singlehandedly shaping the way our wee ones veiw food and health with our daily habits. Do you have any advice on how I might pursuade him to open up to the wonders of raw? We have a few (4) friends who are raw but he thinks theyre fanatical. My first thought is to make all raw desserts and make one night a week raw night to give him time to see how yummy it can be. But any help would be awesome. Thanks
Tandi

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Hi Laura Jane,

I was doing my usual raw food research/reading and came across a post you had on rawfoodtalk and my goodness, I recognized you from your other blog. It's really a small world. I have done raw in the past only for a few months but did have some success in losing some weight, but did it mainly for the health aspect. It can be very delicious and I have been thinking of going back. I laughed at your post above about the 50 extra pounds. Hmmmmm......I'd better get going on the raw again. Just wondering, where do you buy most of your raw food supplies? Local, online? I am in Canada (West) and shop online a lot. If you have any places you would recommend, that would be great. Love your site and can't wait to try some recipes.

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Fancy meeting you here, Heather! It sounds as though you're finding your way back to raw foods. You'll know when the timing is right. And that doesn't necessarily have to be today:)

Where do I buy my raw food items? When it comes to food I shop at my local grocery store, a bulk food retailer ("Bulk Barn") and my local HFS. I am often amazed at what I can get locally when I look around. Online I try to buy directly from manufacturers rather than from resellers to keep the costs down. For example, I buy cases of raw noodles for $3 a pack rather than $8 from a raw food reseller. That being said I am a big fan of the Raw Food World store. :)

Keep me posted on your raw journey please.

All the best,
Laura-Jane

16 votes
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Hi Laura-Jane,

Tried out some of the recipes posted here, they are good! Planning to try your choc cake soon... maybe for a baby shower I need to organise in two weeks' time.

Quick question: how do I load a picture to go with my posts?

Enjoy your week!
ena

16 votes
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Hi Ena,

In order to get a picture to go along with your comments here you need to sign up for a "gravatar." http://en.gravatar.com/

A gravatar account means that whenever you go to a site like this your face will show up, like mine.

What's nice about it is that you just have to sign up once and then when you go to any website online that has a similar system your face will display!

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Hi Laura-Jane,

Thank you for your helpful and thorough reply! I'll apply your advice, especially carrying food with me; will think on the 100% zero compromise move... quite bold.

Have a great week,
Ena

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Bold is good! Lol

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Hi Laura-Jane....again,

quick other question: do you wear make-up?

Cheers
Ena

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Yes I do :)

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Laura-Jane,

You look like a gentle person, that was what drew me to your website after I saw your comments on other raw sites. I am blessed by your website, it's sincere, easily accessible and uncomplicated. I'll be visiting, thanks!

Loved reading your story of becoming raw. Would like to know whether your husband and in-laws have continued their rawness? and how long have you been raw now?

I was very happily raw for 8 months in 2002, and this year January rekindled that passion, enjoying it tremendously. I just need to plan ahead for raw meals because I always wait till I'm ravenous and then the nearest food isn't always raw!

Question/concern or two: I come from South Africa and my husband and I are busy applying for immigration to Canada. Is it harder to eat raw in a cold climate? And is it affordable? Would new friends be easily offended if I eat raw at their homes?

Other thing: I would be 100% raw if it hadn't been for the occasional family gathering, and then I'm afraid to offend or be otherwise, so I just force myself to eat what's on offer. Any advice?

Just want to say that your skin really glows, and even my own experience inspires me to continue eating raw for the incredible anti-ageing and beauty solution it is!

Love and laughter,
Ena

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Wow, Ena. Very interesting to read your story. Congratulations to you on your dedicated return to raw.
Answers to your questions:
Inlaws: Husband is not 100% (he never has been 100%) but he continues to enjoy a high-raw lifestyle. In-laws, haven't talked to them lately about it. I think they are both still enthused about it, but they may not be 100%.
I have been 100% raw since August 22, 2009, so that's about 13 to 14 months raw now.
Re: waiting til you're ravenous, you must learn to bring food with you ALL THE TIME!!!! Apples and almonds in your purse at all times please!
Immigration to Canada - This must be an exciting time for you! Is it harder to eat raw in the cold months? It's all relative. I don't find it difficult, although there is less exciting Summer produce in Winter. That being said I don't find it overly difficult. I just make sure to gorge myself on Summer produce during the Summer when food is in season. That way I've had my fill.
Re: being raw in other peoples' homes it is quite awkward, but the most important thing is to let your hosts know that you are raw. Also, try to eat a lot before you go so you can eat simply while there. Also, if you can present yourself as 100% raw (as opposed to 90% raw) then they will be more likely to understand that you cannot make an exception, and that it is not a negative reflection on their food or hospitality.

Warmth,
Laura-Jane

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