The Secret Way for Going Raw
I recently got back to Canada after having spent nearly four months in the tropics in Costa Rica, and that led me to realize something very important about going raw.
I’ve been spending most of my winters in the tropics for the last few years, and every time I come back to my home country of Canada, it’s a bit of a shock.
Experts call this the “reverse cultural shock” — when you come back to your home country and suddenly it doesn’t feel that great anymore, because you’ve gotten used to the culture in the other country.
For me, there are basically two things that I find hard when coming back:
– The weather
– The food quality
Where I live in Costa Rica it’s a perfect climate. It’s sunny every day, daytime temperatures are summer-like, or about 80 to 85 (25 to 29 Celsius), and nighttime is a comfortable 65 (18 Celsius) or so.
I was feasting on delicious ripe mangoes that I got for 50 cents a pound, delicious bananas, perfect greens and tropical treats such as soursop, tree tomatoes, passion fruit, gorgeous papayas and more.
When I got back to Canada, it was raining, 50 degrees (10 Celsius), and on my first trip to the grocery store I brought back unripe bananas, tasteless mangoes that never ripened quite right, boring apples and pears, suspicious-looking grapes and disappointing tomatoes.
On the positive side, it was great to feast on perfect celery and baby spinach, which I don’t find in Costa Rica (the celery there isn’t so great).
Fortunately, the weather quickly warmed up over the weekend to summer-like temperatures in the 80s! This only lasted a few days but was quite enjoyable.
Then, I made the trip to Montreal where I went to my favorite fruit store. There I was able to buy much better produce, including:
– Delicious oranges
– Haitian Mangoes (one of my favorite kinds)
– Canary melons
– Amazing beefsteak tomatoes
– Pretty good bananas
– Cherimoyas (my favorite!)
– Red prickly pears
– Spinach, celery, lettuce, fresh herbs, cucumbers, etc.
– Pretty good avocados
Armed with that much quality food, I found it so much easier to enjoyably stay raw. My food bill was much higher ($200!) than it ever could be in Costa Rica, but I also got foods I could never get there.
The Secret Way for Going Raw
My experiences coming back to Canada made me realize an important concept that I’ve known for a long time, but that became even more obvious on this trip.
This could be one of the single most important concepts for succeeding on raw foods and taking your health to a whole new level.
I’m going to call it “the secret way for going raw” because I feel a lot of people are completely missing the boat on that one.
Essentially, there are two parts to this:
1. Buy in large quantities
2. Buy the best
Most people go to the grocery store once or twice a week, pull out a cart and fill it with individual quantities of stuff. They’ll buy a few boxes of spaghetti, a few jars of sauce, one or two bell peppers, one head of lettuce, and so on.
When people go raw, they tend to follow the same pattern. They go to the grocery store, buy a bag of grapes, a bag of bananas, a bag of spinach.
Then the next day, all of that food is gone, and they’re hungry like they’ve never been before.
They keep going to the grocery store to buy small quantities of food. None of it tastes very good. And the cost is pretty high.
That’s Not the Right Way to Eat Raw!
Delicious Haitian Mangoes
Let me give you an example of what I bought last week at the store:
– A 40-pound case of bananas (I still had some left from another case that were ripe)
– One box of oranges (containing at least 50 oranges)
– One 15-pound flat of tomatoes
– One box of cherimoyas (containing about 12 fruits)
– One flat of prickly pears (Containing 20 fruits)
– Seven cases of mangoes (containing 10 mangoes each)
– 1 large watermelon
– 1 5-pound bag of baby spinach
I also bought individual quantities of avocados (only three), celery (a few heads), and other vegetables that wouldn’t make sense to buy by the case.
Are you blown away by this quantity of food? Here are some important points:
- First of all, I only buy the best. I shop at two or three places. One for organic, and one for imported fruits. The fruit guy knows me by my name, and every week will tell me what’s the BEST stuff he’s got. He knows I only buy good stuff, and he’ll always be upfront about it, sometimes telling me it’s better to wait a week for a certain fruit.
- Buying by the case saves a ton of money. Most small grocery stores buy produce by the case and then sell it to you by the pound — making money on the difference. If you buy directly by the case you will pocket that difference.
- Although I do share some of that food with another person, I eat a good part of it and it is gone in no time. If I didn’t buy such large quantities of food, I would always be back at the grocery store, buying more.
- By having such a nice selection and large quantity of fruits, I don’t feel tempted to fall off the wagon. If all I had were a few bunches of sub-par fruits, then I would definitely feel tempted to eat crap.
The Secret Way for Going Raw
Every single person I know who’s been eating this way (the low fat raw vegan way, that is) for a long time does this:
– They buy large quantities of fruits and vegetables
– They only buy the best
As mentioned in my last article, “The Myth of Overeating on a Raw Food Diet” , most people are simply not eating enough to meet their needs, when they first go raw.
People spend a lot of money on supplements, superfoods, gourmet raw meals… but the real question is: where’s the produce?
Unless your kitchen looks like a produce store, you simply aren’t doing this program!
Unless you are buying case after case of fruit — knowing very well that all of it is going to disappear pretty soon — then you simply are NOT getting how this program works.
Here’s a few tips to make it work:
- You need to find where you can buy your produce. Generally, you will find more in larger cities.
- You want to buy fruit at a place where employees REALLY know their fruits, and can tell you all about it.
- Try to locate the organic distributor that supplies to your health food store. You may be able to purchase directly from them. If necessary, join with a few friends and form a coop, in order to be able to get the bulk deals.
- Farmer’s market are also a great place to buy, but always ask for a bulk deal. Most people who visit farmer’s market only buy small quantities. Tell them you want to buy by the case, and that you want special pricing for it.
- Asian markets are generally a good place to find exotic fruits.
I will typically shop for food once a week, and hit a few different places. Often I’ll start with the organic place, then hit my fruit store, then occasionally go to the supermarket.
I’ll even give you my addresses in the Montreal area:
For organic, I go directly to the distributor, to Gaetan Bono (995 Rue Du Marche-Central) — near Boul. L’acadie Nord. There you can also buy conventional produce, but only by the case.
For a lot of my fruit, I go to the Leopoldo store, run by friendly Italians at the Jean-Talon Market (182 Marché du Nord).
Then for the rest, like smaller quantities of organic vegetables, I go to different places depending on where I am.
This is truly one of the secrets for going raw.
– Buy in large quantities
– Buy the best!