Tags: Review, Running
I had the BEST day!! Whhhy…? Cos it was the Gourmet Raw Cooking School day of course! Aaah it was fabulous, really truly fabulous. Let me start from the beginning…
…at 5.39am, when my alarm went off. Well, THAT was pleasant, especially seeing as it was gone 1.30am before I actually got to sleep. Great timing, insomnia, great timing indeed. Thankfully, I’d been prepared for that happening, and had ICED coffee waiting for me – except, sans ice cubes. What’s a girl to do when there’s no ice!? Simple – I just boiled up some coffee the night before, cooled it, stuck it in the fridge overnight and put it into a bottle in the morning. Voila! ‘Iced’ coffee I drunk it whilst walking to the train station (1.5miles away). It woke me up
- insert here: breakfast, train ride, tube ride, and very nearly getting lost/run over on the way to the class -
I arrived! Into a kind of warehouse type space:
There was a table set out selling loads of stuff like dried mulberries, chia seeds and lucuma powder on one side:
With space for the class to sit in the middle. It was all really informal, and everyone was encouraged to just ask questions or comment on anything – I loved that! The LAST thing I want right now – mid-exams – is to sit in a lecture :/
Anyway! The class was run by one of the business partners of Gourmet Raw, Andrew – boy does that guy know his stuff! He spoke about his past and what made him switch to a raw food diet, and although it was his own personal experience he was talking about, he’s done SO much research into it all, travelling the world to listen to speakers and so on – in fact, the science behind what he said & the benefits of a raw food diet is extremely convincing. But more on that later – food first!
After introducing ourselves and hearing what Andrew had to say (and being given the lowdown on sprouting, which sounds super easy and something I really want to do now), we got to try out some recipes – first up was a chia seed and fruit breakfast:
Chia seeds, pear, pecans, nut milk, cardamom, orange zest, vanilla & stevia herb.
Now – I like chia seeds in overnight oats, and I like chia seeds blended into my Green Monsters – but the last time I had chia seeds in their proper soaked form, was on pancakes a few weeks ago, if anyone remembers!? I gotta say – I didn’t really like them done that way then, and I didn’t really like them done this way today. NOTHING against the cooking – every single other person adored this dish – but chia pudding just ain’t my thang. I think it’s the texture…? I’m not sure…
It didn’t matter though! I knew there was plenty more to come
I was SO excited about trying it! Like, unreasonably so!! I actually bought a cheap juicer about 2years ago, and got as far as juicing a few oranges and apples, before killing the blender part and developing a strong hate for the juicer, which was awkward as heck to clean. It looked nothing like the above photo. Since then, I’ve seen bloggers like Angela and Ashley start juicing, and it’s made me have a serious craving. One must always feed ones’ cravings, yes!? And feed I did:
Celery, cucumber, kale, 1/4 white onion, lemon, ginger, apples.
That. Was. DELICIOUS. I drank it so fast! I never, ever would have thought I’d like a juice made from those ingredients (celery? I hate celery!) but it was honestly, absolutely fabulous. Plus, I felt incredibly vitalised after drinking it – like a little lift, you know? Bliss
Next on the agenda? Almond milk! That was something I am very curious about – over here, soy milk is the only reasonably priced non-dairy milk I can buy in mainstream supermarkets. If I want almond milk or hazelnut milk (or SPELT milk, which I saw for the first time in Londres Town today!), I’m gonna be set back at least £3 ($5) for just 1 litre. Not something I can afford! But seeing how easy almond milk is to make at home??
Yes, that is Vincent’s twin Vita!
Well – maybe it really is worth investing in Bulk-buy almonds would work out cheaper than buying almond milk…and the whole process of making it took a matter of a few minutes. Extremely easy!
But even more importantly – not only were there zero crazy additives or added sugars, but it was friggin’ TASTY too!
Wave hello to wonderful blog reader Olivia, pictured chugging her milk! That girl is SO lovely!! I was honoured to meet her
After that, there was a short break where we got to have a chat, walk about, and rescue one of the people in the class who got stuck in the bathroom I also got to talk a bit more to other blog reader, Sarah!
Another lovely, lovely lady
After the break, we tried some more fantastic food:
The guy in green is Chris, who’s lovely – he’s the other partner in Gourmet Raw, and again – he knows his stuff! He suffered from various health problems too, and did practically every diet in the book before he found raw food. He was literally glowing with health! Such clear skin!! Bah.
That Thai soup was my 2nd favourite dish of the day! Pepper, carrots, cashews, radishes, curry powder, almond milk, tamari, agave, cayenne, green onions..it was incredible. `It had beautiful texture and a spicy kick – but again, it was SO quick to make! No waiting around for onions to brown of for parsnips to boil – just fini, in seconds!
For lunch, we had bread and pizza, like true carb-ivores. Except, twas no ordinary bread and pizza…OH no!
The bread? Truly divine. It was made using leftover carrot pulp, plus soaked buckwheat, soaked sunflower seeds, flaxseed, olive oil, herbs…it was far, far better than any bread I’ve ever had. I was kinda expecting it to be crispy or dry, but it was actually super moist! I may or may not have nabbed a bit to take home
The pizza – equally incredible:
Um – wow!!??
Pizza base (similar to the bread), tomato sauce (tomatoes, raisins, lemon….), cheese sauce (think cashews!), basil pesto (head along the macadamia nut route, and you’ll be getting close), plus loads of toppings – olives, broccoli, sundried tomatoes….
It was fanTAStic! Now again, I was mildly skeptical about it, seeing as I’m not – and never have been – a huge pizza fan. I can remember going to dressage camp when I was 15, and getting ever so sad because the ‘team meal’ the night before the competition was at Pizza Hut! I also used to get miffed when my sister and I went out with my dad, and we had to get pizza (I much preferred a chicken burger and fries…er yeah.). Pizza + Freya = nay good.
Raw pizza + Freya though? = VERY good! We had it served with a little side salad, and more raw bread:
No ordinary side salad – packed with hemp and avocado and sprouts and a beautiful creamy-ish dressing!
Quite the gourmet meal They even spoilt us with dessert! Can you guess…?
Chocolate coconut truffles!
Weirdly enough, they were probably one of my least favourite items on the menu. I think because we’d had so much food that really packed a huge flavah and nutritional punch, they just didn’t quite compare. Still very tasty – but I would’ve rather had more pizza
All in all – it was a SUPER class! I met new friends…
Tried amazing food, and learnt so much! A massive, HUGE thank you to Andrew and Chris for putting it on.
Soo aside from the food tasting out of this world, the actual argument behind the raw food movement as a whole is really very strong. I learnt some extremely fascinating stuff – and I so wish I could write it all on the blog, but I simply didn’t take notes fast enough!! There was lots of talk about acidity and enzymes, but in a completely un-scary way; bear in mind here that I suck at science and hated it with a passion at school, so if I understood it and found it interesting, pretty much anyone would! One thing I did remember in particular though, was about nuts. Yes, nuts.
Did you know that soaking them is actually far more beneficial then eating them in the hardcore raw state? When they’re un-soaked (ie how you’d buy them normally), the enzymes are locked up and dormant. Soaking however, released them and you get far more nutritional value! Genius right!? And if it’s the crunch of nuts you like, you can soak them and then dehydrate them, so they get crispy. Genius!
Where do I stand now, in regards to the raw food diet and my own diet?
Weeell, I would certainly like to incorporate some more raw food meals into my life – just seeing how simple, fast, nutritious & delicious the dishes are was enough on its’ own to sway me! Plus, I want to make a few small changes to my diet – for example, pink Himalayan sea salt (as opposed to regular sea salt, which gets bleached and stripped of its’ goodness), and more chia seeds, maybe my own nut milk too, and I’d like so start sprouting (what an odd phrase..!). Just small changes, but I think they’d be worth it
Thankfully, I already include a boatload of kale and spinach in my daily Green Monsters
Disclaimer: Gourmet Raw asked for me to attend the class for free, in return for a review. I was under no obligation to write anything positive or negative – just my honest opinion.
Post-class, I had a mission: new running shoes + gait analysis!
8 pairs of shoes, 2 treadmill runs, and 7 hill runs later – I got a new pair from Sweat Shop! Hurrah! I’m going to try them out tomorrow…fingers crossed! Interestingly, when I had the gait analysis I could actually see a real proper difference in my gait! YAY! I AM running straighter. Phew!
I also took a trip to Whole Foods (obvs) and was incredibly restrained. I walked away with just a few items, a giant iced coffee, plus dinner:
Consumed on the train home, like the classy lass I am.
Now – I’m ready for bed. It’s been a loooong day!
What do you think about the raw food movement? Have you ever had raw food? And I don’t mean carrot sticks
PS – if you’re in the UK and fancy getting a 10% discount from Sweat Shop, send me an email!