Saturday, January 9, 2010

Raw Food for Real People: Review + Giveaway!

I love a down-to-earth raw food book. Chef Rod Rotondi begins Raw Food for Real People keeping it really real for his readers. He starts with three confessions: 1) being a raw food chef is as simple as slicing an apple; 2) he has not healed himself of a life-threatening illness, and 3) in the fourteen years since he discovered raw food, he hasn’t been 100% raw. I appreciate the candor. It’s Rotondi’s openness, and profound love of food, that makes this book successful.

Before I get to the food, there is another book lurking inside of this cookbook. Rotondi has traveled all over the world. He’s lived in exotic places; held intriguing jobs, and tasted food from many regions. THAT’s the book I want to read. I kept saying to myself, “Where’s the rest of story? I want to know more about Jerusalem, Dahab, and Paris! Tell me more about your dad and your grandmother. Tell me more about your job with the United Nations!” So Rod, can you write that book next?

What shines through is that Rotondi (Italian for “the round ones”) was born to cook. His family had an appreciation and respect for food, the Earth, and simplicity. Passion shows up on every page. And I love how he de-mystifies raw food. It’s not as esoteric or weird as it may sound to a newbie. The book is written for the home cook. He offers tips on page 48 on how to be prepared. I wrote them down and put it on my fridge. He writes about the importance of good knives, explains how to sprout, and what to keep in your kitchen.

We also are blessed with an introduction by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, which speaks to Rotondi’s chef skills and tasty food! And speaking of the food…I love what I have made. I don’t review a book without making some recipes first. If the food isn’t good, you won’t see the review.

I made the Strawberry Ice Kreme first. Me and the family jockeyed for it constantly. It was rich, creamy, and tasted better with each subsequent visit.

The Cole Slaw was a perfect accompaniment to another salad, and cashew “burger” wrap I’d made. It was light (no mayo substitutes used), crunchy, and awesome.

The Chocolate Milk was a revelation in flavor. I wrote “FANTASTIC!” next to it in the book. Flavored with dates, it wasn’t too sweet. Just right.

Raw Food for Real People is written by a chef for real people who are not chefs, but want to prepare food like one. I found it accessible for anyone regardless of where you are in your raw journey. The best word is PASSIONATE. Rotondi’s passion for good food, healing, and sincere love for his fellow man (I’m serious) is on every page. I love this book. I look forward to making everything in it!

10 out of 10 Mocha Angels
One lucky person wins a copy of Raw Food for Real People

-Leave a comment at the end of this post.
-Answer the question: “What is your best keeping it real advice for anyone on a raw food journey?”
-Leave a workable email address so I can contact you (important).
-Post your comment by Sunday, January 17th at 11:59pm EST.
-I will pick the winner at random.
-I will contact the winner on Monday, January 18th and post who won that morning. If I don’t hear back from the winner by Wednesday, January 20th at 11:59pm, I will pick another winner at random.
-Good luck to everyone!




Sistar said...

My best keeping it real advice about the raw food journey is FLAVOR!!! It has to taste good...if you are stuffing raw collard wraps down your throat and you have to pray seriously before you begin you are defeating the purpose. Raw food should be just as tasty or even more so that any Hot Lasagna YO MAMA would make. No one is going to stick to this lifestyle if they have to Sike themselves out everytime they have a meal. Raw Food cuisine must be tasty, delicious, nutritious, tantalizing, succulent, satisfying and stick with it. Find recipes that YOU like!

TwinkieR* said...

One tip that I would suggest is to take everything slow. Take your time with everything from studying the raw food, lifestyle and it's benefits, to trying recipes, to eating the food prepared, take time to enjoy the process an not just the end results. You want to be able to have the most amazing time with living life!

Lady Q said...

My best keeping it real advice is not to let excuses get in your way. It is easy to say that you don't feel like putting anything together. Why not try prepping enough food for 2-3 days at a time? Raw food is not meant to be a chore. It is the best way to realize out true potential by energizing our bodies. It is simply delicious and every bite allows you to give back to your body. Show your body that you love it! Love yourself!I am keeping it simple for now until I can buy more of the fun equipment. :) Salads, green smoothies and juices, oh my!

Eve said...

I think for people who want to be raw foodist is that they have to go at their own speed. There is no right way. They could either stop eating cooked food at once, or they could either start by going vegetarian and then on.

Earth Mother said...

“What is your best keeping it real advice for anyone on a raw food journey?”

Remember that it's a journey and journey's take time. You may come to a fork in the road and find yourself going in an unexpected direction. You may find yourself backtracking and retracing some steps along the way. And, hey, that's okay.

It doesn't have to be so black-and-white, all-or-nothing. You don't have to be 100% raw to reap the benefits of infusing your body with life-giving nutrients.

Most importantly, take your cues from your own body. It will let you know when to progress further on your journey into Raw Food Land. Find joy in the journey!

Elaine said...

My best keeping it real advice is DO NOT discuss your transition with those who will think you are completely NUTS. Continue to arm yourself with the information and a strong support group that will help keep you on track to optimal health. It is important for one to really know and comprehend why they've chosen the Raw Foods Lifestyle. The more information one acquires the easier the journey will become.

My rationing is "Pay NOW, rather than Later." By that I mean, be very careful about what you allow into your temple and don't give in to the hype about the costs of selecting the very best for your eating desires. Another thing to remember is that the Raw Foods Lifestyle is not ALL about food rather, the very best nutrition and health enhancement you can give yourself. Take your time and listen to your body's messages.

Finally, DO NOT be concerned with the percentages of RAW! I don't claim to be, nor do I know anyone who is 100% raw. Think about it, will you ever find Olive Oil, Raw Tahini, Nama Shoyu/Braggs Liquid Aminos, Herbamare or Celtic Sea Salt in Nature? Of course not, so if you use any of these items as you journey, you will find yourself exempt from that claim and you know what? It's perfectly OK. Have a fun and tasty journey!

Elaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

My best keeping it real advice for anyone on a raw food journey would be to be really kind to yourself...take it one step at a time. Make a commitment, but don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon..just get back up and start again, lovingly.

Another thing is to work on being present when preparing foods and make it a sacred act...putting love energy into the food you are preparing. Make if fun, not a chore.

Darcia said...

My advice is weekly preparation and planning. Purchase 1 cup wide mouth mason jars and chop your vegetables for the week. I put my jars on a lazy susan in the refrigerator. Try to stick with one or two raw food recipe books for one month.

Erica said...

My advice to anyone about the raw food journey would be to not beat yourself up if you temporarily "fall of the wagon" for whatever reason. Instead of dwelling on so-called "slip ups," focus on getting back on track and keep in mind how good you'll feel once you do so.

Erica said...

Oh, and my email is-

Angelique said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angelique said...

Hi! My advice for “What is your best keeping it real advice for anyone on a raw food journey?” is to echo the comments about listening to our bodies and not being too rigid or comparing ourselves to others. Also, my advice is to think about positives instead of negatives. Not just in attitude and thoughts but also literally....focusing on *adding* fresh raw living foods and not worrying about what we have to take away. We'll shed (or push out) those old habits when we're mentally and physically ready. If we focus on adding and not subtracting, we'll purify inside and out and those things will fall away in a beautiful natural way w/out resistance.


Jayna said...

I've just started my raw food journey (1 week!). As a newbie I'm not sure I have much advice to give. I think it's nice to focus on the exciting new recipes that you're adding rather than thinking of restricting certain foods. I was amazed to see the variety of dishes that can be made raw.

Jayna said...

sorry forgot to add my email

Raw Goddess said...

Hi Althea! I just discovered your blog tonight via someone else's. This is my first time hearing about Ron's book, but you've caught my interest...

My best "keeping it real" advice is: do your best and take one day at a time... there have been times when I've been hardcore about staying 100%, but I found that too restrictive and would eventually rebel. Now, I prefer not to label or restrict myself, and when it comes down to it, I prefer to eat raw most of the time, with some cooked squash/yams during the cold months... or dark chocolate when Im away from home and don;t have any with me. It feels so much more freeing to live this way!
Along with that is forgiving myself when I "slip up"!

Thanks for the inspirational blog, your soups look great. I'm embarking on a liquid fast starting next week, so I'll be comin here for ideas! :)

Raw Goddess said...

PS - my email is


Elizabeth Karuna said...

keeping it real advice...Keep on trucking, It gets hard at times but perservere...take your time so you dont slip up and mess up on your raw food journey,

Anonymous said...

A good way to start is keeping it simple. Once you begin, making raw recipes becomes an adventure.
You will learn how to shop as you create. It is baby steps and a journey to let go of negative behaviors and aquiring positive ones. Trading off and letting go for some will be difficult, being inundated with advertising and pressures from home, family and friends to eat what they eat, and what is popular or cheap will become less of a "punishment" but a rewarding way of life, be kind to yourself and others, and the transition should be to your highest good.


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