Happy holidays everyone! I hope each of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday and are excited about all of the opportunities that 2013 holds. Yes this year too trading has come up with many new and unique things for the traders and this vacation is definitely going to be a very enjoyable one with more take-aways. This information is straight from the source and hence there would be absolute reliability. So gear up for the new year and welcome it with more expectations. I know that I’ll be thinking about my new year’s resolutions as 2012 rolls to an end. One of them is trying some new cooking methods out, including trying some raw food dishes.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with raw food chef Judita Wignall about her passion for raw food and the differences this change in eating has made in her life. I know the difference that fresh foods make in the flavor of my dishes, so I was excited to learn more about how I could incorporate some raw food techniques into my cooking (or in this case, not-cooking) arsenal.
|Photo courtesy: Amazon.com|
What made you decide to go raw?
A few years ago I was having major issues with acne. I had been on an Atkin’s diet for a really long time so my vegan friends were recommending I try changing my diet and cutting out all the animal products. I was so desperate I was willing to try anything. When I went shopping for vegan recipe books I found some raw books that looked really intriguing and thought I’d give it a shot. I figured I had nothing to lose but bad skin!
What is one thing everyone needs to know about the raw food diet?
That it can be really delicious!! Everyone is so scared they are going to starve or be unsatisfied eating raw. Not true if you do it right and own some good recipe books.
Should I go completely raw? What’s the best way to get started?
Start by replacing one meal a day with raw. Breakfast is usually the easiest. Smoothies are a great way to start your day with loads of nutrients without loading you down. Work your way up to 50% then 75% and then 100% and see how you feel. 100% raw is great for cleansing, but you really don’t need to go completely raw to enjoy the benefits. An all raw diet is not for everyone so listen to your body.
What was the hardest part about moving to raw food? What are the benefits?
Learning to become proficient in the kitchen. I never liked cooking to begin with so when I went raw I had to make most of my own food since there were only a couple raw food places in the neighborhood and they were really expensive. There’s a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s just as quick and easy as whipping up a cooked meal. The benefits I gained from changing my diet were well worth the small inconvenience of having to prep my own food. I dropped 15 pounds in one month, gained a ton of energy and cleared up my acne!
What kitchen skills do you need to learn to switch to a raw food diet?
I had zero kitchen skills when I started and I did pretty well for myself, but if you’re good with a chef’s knife, that will make slicing and dicing go a lot faster.
What tools do you need for raw foods?
A good knife and cutting board is the most important; after that a good quality blender and a food processor. Dehydrators are used for making raw snacks, wraps, and granola. They’re fun to own if you’re really into raw food, but not necessary. My new book Raw & Simple doesn’t require any dehydrating. When I wrote the recipes for the book I put my dehydrator in my office and barely touched it for 6 months. Now I’m used to only making quick, easy raw food meals.
You started off your career as a musician/model. What made you add “chef” to your resume?
I thought it would be fun to be a trained raw food chef so I could have more ideas of what to make in the kitchen. It quickly went from being a hobby to a new career.
Do you still play guitar/sing?
I still write songs at home but just for fun. I haven’t played a show in ages.
Is it easier to write music or recipes?
Recipes for sure. If I’m hungry I can whip up a recipe in a few minutes. Songwriting takes me forever these days.
Is it easy or tricky to balance a raw diet with modeling/acting? What do you eat on an all-day shoot?
It’s pretty easy if I plan it out in advance. I almost always bring my own food to set just in case there’s nothing healthy to choose from in catering. I usually make a quart of superfood smoothie for breakfast and a kale salad. I also pack some organic fruit and almonds and some kind of raw cacao treat. Catering always has salad, but I bring my own homemade dressing.
How do you handle eating out at restaurants?
Since I eat really well at home, I give myself flexibility to eat what I want at restaurants. If they don’t have (or I don’t like) the raw options, I order the next best thing, which is usually cooked vegetables and whole grains. If I’m going out to a place that doesn’t offer healthy choices, I’ll eat before I go out and just order something really small at the restaurant. I’m not 100% raw and I don’t stress out about it when I’m out and about. I just do the best I can.
How do you create your recipes?
My recipes are usually inspired by some food porn I’ve seen online or a great cooked meal I had at a restaurant. I always say, “Oh! I bet I can make a great raw version of this!” I almost always succeed.
What’s your favorite ingredient to use?
Avocado! It’s so versatile. I use it in smoothies, soups, salads, and desserts. I never get sick of it.
What’s your favorite recipe from the book? Why?
The Carrot-Apple Cupcakes. The cream cheese frosting is just ridiculous and the nutty carrot cake is so delicious. I could eat an entire batch in one day.
How do you prepare rice if you can’t cook it?
Well I make my own “rice” by pulsing cauliflower or jicama in a food processor. If you want to make a raw rice dish like my Mexican Seasoned Rice from Going Raw, you need to use wild rice only. The best kind is hand parched wild rice, which you can find online. Soak it in a mason jar filled with water overnight in a warm dehydrator. If you don’t own a dehydrator, soak it for 24-36 hours on your kitchen counter, changing the water ever 12 hours. The rice will puff up and can be seasoned in many delicious ways. It’ll be a bit chewier than cooked rice.
What new techniques will readers learn in your next book, Raw & Simple?
How to make raw cupcakes, fermented water kefir beverages (sort of like kombucha, but easier), classic ice pops, plus lots of low sugar/sugar free alternatives for people who are trying to eliminate sugar from their diets.
What has authoring a book taught you?
That writing books is hard! But also really rewarding. I love all the emails I get from readers all over the world telling me how much my book has helped them.
What’s for Christmas dinner?
I spend the holidays with my in-laws who are very not raw, but they are sensitive to my needs. We always have a gorgeous salad, sautéed carrots, sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts, and I make my raw apple crumble from Going Raw, which everyone just loves.
If you think Going Raw might be for you, be sure to pick up Judita’s books, Going Raw and Raw & Simple.
Judita Wignall is a commercial actress, print model, and musician from Los Angeles. She discovered the healing power of raw foods after health challenges made her reassess her diet and lifestyle. Her passion for great-tasting food, holistic health, and wellness brought her to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, where she became a certified raw food chef and instructor. In between her many creative projects, she continues to teach classes, coach, and act as a personal chef for clients around the country. Learn more at http://www.rawjudita.com.
Making smart, delicious food choices in a short amount of time is now easier than ever. Raw and Simple provides easy (and incredibly tasty!) recipes that will feed your body and spirit without requiring hours of prep work. Recipes include:
Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies, Apple Pie Smoothie, Winterland Salad, Cucumber Basil Soup, Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts, Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts, Thai Veggie Noodles, Root Vegetable Slaw, Cherry-Hemp Muesli, Watermelon-Fennel-Mint Chiller, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette, Colorful Cabbage Salad, Cauliflower Couscous, Carrot-Ginger Coconut Soup, Orange-Cranberry-Apple Relish, Herbed Pecan Pate, and Orange-Almond Truffles.
Raw food chef and instructor Judita Wignall fully integrates her raw food platform with holistic health and wellness. It’s not just about food—it’s about feeding your whole body and fueling your life!
Go raw, get radiant, start a revolution!
A raw-food diet is a healthful way to detox, clear up your skin, shed a few pounds, and feel radiant. But who has time to track down hard-to-find ingredients and whip up labor-intensive recipes every day? (Hint: not you!) So what’s the best way to start? Going Raw gives you everything you need to start enjoying the benefits of a raw-food lifestyle, all in this gorgeous guide.