Ahead of her raw food supper club hosted with Domini Kemp at Dublin’s Alchemy Juice Co., BT2, we met with Raw foodie, chef and best-selling author, Doris Choi to demystify the Raw movement.
The best-selling author and busy mum of two (she has two sons: 3-year-old Oliver and 18-year-old Kainan) looks simply stunning when we meet to discuss raw living, and I find myself converted just looking at her. If this is what a raw diet can do, then I’m in.
With a career in conventional catering behind her, Choi only turned to eating Raw in her late thirties after a period of emotional upheaval in her life.
“I went through a divorce; it was a really big transition in my life. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t eat for fuel and I didn’t give my food any thought. I found it had a hugely adverse effect. I could feel what I was eating and drinking impacting on my mood, my energy levels and my skin.”
“It was the first time in my life I bought a diet book, a raw detox book.”
“I couldn’t incorporate it into my work as I was still doing mainstream cooking for clients.”
“As a chef I was cooking Italian and Mediterranean food which is actually quite healthy but not the way we do it in the States. If we’re doing something, we tend to amp everything up; if there’s one stick of butter we want to use two!”
5 EASY steps to a raw diet
Start the day by eating more water-filling foods like watermelon or cucumber. These are more digestible than toast and eggs first thing and keep our bodies alkaline and not too acidic.
Eat something raw before every meal. This will aid digestion and shepherds the other food you eat through your system.
Don’t eat to excess. It takes our brains longer to catch up to the fact that we are full, so aim to eat until you are 80 per cent full.
Try to incorporate a green juice into your day. It doesn’t have to be intense kale, even just a light cucumber juice will energise you.
Remember eating raw isn’t something you have to be “good” at! You’re already doing it. After all, eating raw is just eating fruit and vegetables and drinking water, it’s not out of the ordinary! And try to stay away from processed foods.
Life on a plate: Doris Choi’s daily menu
I start the day with a coffee, which I really enjoy and don’t feel guilty about!
Then I would move on the warm water. And lemon, if there’s some around. If not? No big deal.
Then I might move on to a coconut water or a green juice.
On days when I’m working I don’t want to expend all my energy trying to digest a lot of food so I tend to move from light to heavy in my eating.
Around noon or 1 pm, I might have some carrots and apples or salad.
Then when my working day is done, for dinner I always start with a nice big healthy bowl of salad with things like kale, arugula (rocket), watercress, cucumber, olives, chickpeas (I love chickpeas and they give it a bit more substance) and a bit of sheep’s feta. For dressing, I would have a little lemon juice mixed with olive oil and a spice like za’atar. The reason I start with salad is because salads are easy to digest. Afterwards, I will have some cooked vegetables or protein like fish or eggs. Tip: Roasted Shitake mushrooms taste like bacon!
I finish with some 70 per cent chocolate. Just a nibble!
Check out Doris’ Spicy “Tuna” sushi recipe.