Sharing The Gift Of Raw Food This Season - Raw Food Magazine Sharing The Gift Of Raw Food This Season - Raw Food Magazine

Sharing The Gift Of Raw Food This Season

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Russell James, ‘The Raw Chef’, shares his secrets (and some funny stories) about how to enjoy raw food during the holidays without feeling awkward or deprived.

 

This is a transcript of the live interview. To listen to the 30-minute audio interview, click below.

30-Minute Live Interview Audio with Russell James

 

Sara Grove: This is Sara Grove with Raw Food Magazine, and today, I am here with Russell James;  you probably know him better as the Raw Chef.

He is the UK’s leading top chef, although he has also taught and done demonstrations all across Europe and the US—kind of everywhere.

You’ve taught in a lot of places, Russell?

 

Russell James: I have, yeah, thanks for having me.

Yeah, I’ve spent some time in the US. Actually, most of my audience is in the US.

And whenever I go there, I’m really blessed to have people who want to come to classes and all that good stuff.

So, yeah, it’s awesome.

 

Sara Grove: Alright, great.

We’re so glad to have you and we are entering the holiday season right around the corner.

Food is such an essential part of the way we celebrate in our families and our cultures and societies.

And when it comes to raw food, sometimes people can feel awkward or have concerns or fears around the holidays, because they’re used to the turkey and the mashed potatoes and gravy. And people think maybe their holidays won’t be the same without their old foods, even if they used to make them feel horrible.

So I would love to hear your perspective.

How long have you been doing raw food? Because this isn’t your first holiday.

 

Russell James: It’s not my first rodeo, as you said.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Yeah.

(Laugh)

I guess I found raw food in 2004 in Koh Samui in Thailand when I was clearing my skin— alchemy—you know, doing the cleanse.

So however many Christmases that is, I guess it’s, uh—

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

—eleven now, I guess.

So I definitely identify with everything that you said there because, you know, I didn’t…I’m very comfortable with where I’m at and I’ve got some creativity around what we do for Christmas and all that kind of thing, which I’d love to share with you in a moment.

But I started off at the same place as everyone else, like you said, just feeling awkward. I’m totally fine with everyone else having what they want to have if they want to have their turkey, roasted potatoes and all that kind of stuff.

And I’ll just have my thing. I just want that to be harmonious, you know, and for it to still be a shared experience.

It’s just that I can have my food and you can have your food, and there’s no judgment on either part.

So that’s where I am right now, but even so, when you first start doing that, it does feel awkward.

You feel a little bit strange because, especially in the UK, I think we don’t—we kind of have that stiff upper lip, you know, we don’t want anyone to feel weird and we kind of end up making sure they don’t feel weird.

But in trying it make sure they don’t feel weird, we kinda make them feel weird.

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And we apologize for it.

And so it just gets even weirder.

 

Sara Grove: You try so hard to respect everyone’s boundaries and accommodate that.

 

Russell James: You’re right.

Yeah, I overcompensate in saying that it’s okay.

It’s, like, “no, you do what you want” and, yeah, it—

 

Sara Grove: —uhum—

 

Russell James: —it does get strange.

 

Sara Grove: Oh, that was funny.

So you’re in a different place now, than, obviously, 11 Christmases ago.

But now, thinking about the holidays, what is your emotion?

Are you excited about it, nervous about it?

 

Russell James: I guess I’ve gone full circle now.

I think the more that I was able to get creative. Well, let me take you back, I guess, to when I started in raw food and was very new to it. I was living in a house shared with three other friends and two of them were girls and they had boyfriends that would come over.

So I felt like there were probably five or six of us in the house at any time.

And I changed because I was working for a supermarket here in the UK and wasn’t Russell James the Raw Chef or anything like that.

I just kind of had an idea of what I wanted to be.

And the Christmas before, I had eaten exactly what everyone else had eaten and been that person.

And then, all of a sudden, I come back from Thailand. I think maybe I spent a couple of weeks in the US helping out at a culinary academy in the US.

So I come back and then I made myself a raw meat loaf, you know, with a raw tomato sauce and a salad, and some dehydrated mushrooms with pasta—you know a lot of the favorite things I used to like when I first got into raw food.

And I’m completely happy with that.

And actually, I felt more pleased with that meal than I would have been with the normal kind of—you know turkey and—I don’t know if it’s the same in the US.

Maybe it’s more of a British thing but, you know, roast dinner is a Sunday thing.

I guess what we do on Christmas just happens a little bit more, and maybe a few more of the trimmings, you know, the cranberry sauce and that sort of thing.

And I was happy with my meal but I still felt awkward.

I still felt like all of a sudden, there is this barrier, right?

Do you ever feel that when you’re happy with your meal but you’re at a table and people are—you know, things make you kind of feel a barrier there.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

Definitely.

I’ve experienced that kind of thing too where first, if you’re feeling awkward about yourself and you’re eating differently, people feel bad for you and they want to try to accommodate you.

And they’re, like, “oh, why aren’t you eating these things?” And that can create awkwardness.

And then, on the flipside when you’re really owning it and you’re showing up and so happy and enjoying your meal, I feel like sometimes people around me can then be self-conscious about their choices.

 

Russell James: Right.

 

Sara Grove: And it’s, like, “no, no, no, you’re doing great, do exactly what makes you happy.”

This just makes me happy.

So, either way, whether you’re feeling great about it or you’re feeling bad about it, it can still lead to some awkwardness sometimes.

 

Russell James: Yeah, totally.

And I think shared experiences are really important.

So the interesting thing about that, exactly what you said, is you can own it and it gives you a better chance.

But I think what people have to get is you’re not depriving yourself of anything.

Because when I started having raw food, it was to clear my skin up, but I didn’t really want to talk about that, you know, when I was working at the supermarket, because I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that I was worried about my skin.

Because I just didn’t want people looking at me with that to be a thing.

So when I was going on the cleanse, they would automatically assume…I think when anyone hears that you’re, you know,trying to eat better or trying to be healthy, they kind of naturally equate it to you wanting to lose weight.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: And I didn’t have weight to lose at the time.

And they’re, like, “man, how much weight do you wanna lose?”

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And I was, like, “it’s not about that.”

I was just like, “it’s just about being healthy,” and it just didn’t land with them at all.

And they’re kinda like, “I think he’s got some kind of eating disorder.”

But when it came to the Christmas thing,I think it’s that we choose to eat this way, whether it’s all raw, part raw—and it’s not exclusive to raw food either, by the way.

Whatever food outside—I’ll use the word diet, but I don’t mean diet in terms of, you know, rationing yourself.

But that’s what people take it as when you say “I’m eating a raw food diet.” Or even if you say “I’m having not going to have have a pudding” or “I’m not going have a dessert”—we would call it a pudding—but, you know, “I’m not going to have dessert, people are like, “oh, what’s wrong?”

You know?

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: Even if you say, “I’m not drinking alcohol.”

They kind of like, “oh, are you—”

 

Sara Grove: “—are you feeling ill?”

 

Russell James: There’s a juice guy here in the UK called Jason Vale.

You might have come across him if you’ve been reading Get Fresh from The Fresh Network and all that kind of stuff.

But he stopped drinking and he went to Amsterdam he was, like, “I’m not going to drink.”

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And people were like, “what’s up?I had no idea you were an alcoholic.”

Because of course the only reason you would stop drinking is that you’re an alcoholic and you can’t.

So…

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Generally, I think if people can understand that this is a choice because I want to be in a certain place, whether it’s a conscious decision about the type of food that I’m eating, where it comes from and it being plant food, or whether it’s for health reasons.

Not that there is anything even wrong with you as such, but you just want to be the best version, you want to have the most energy, you want to give the most back to the world, you want to make the biggest contribution in the short time that you’re here, and you want to feel the best that you can while you’re you doing it.

If I can understand that,or even if you can keep that at the top of your mind, that this is not a deprivation.

It’s not like you’re sitting at the dinner table thinking, “I really actually prefer those roasted potatoes and that turkey and all that stuff,” because that’s a different issue.

But I don’t think most people who get into raw food and want to eat raw at Christmas aren’t even thinking that, you know; they’re just really happy with the food that they’re making, especially if they’ve got good recipes and stuff.

And I’ve got some stuff here that I can tell you about in a second, for the readers out there.

What I saw was as I was getting more creative with my food is I would go to my mom and step dad’s house—and I’ve got five step brothers, maybe three of them were at the dinner table one Christmas—and I’d make more of an effort and I’d make these sunflower seed sausages that are wrapped in eggplant bacon, right?

The meat version, we called them Pigs in Blankets.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

Do you call them the same thing?

 

Sara Grove: Yes.

They were so popular when I was a kid!

 

Russell James: So I do a raw version of those.

I mean, every time I talk about those, I wonder why I only make them at Christmas, because they are so awesome.

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And actually, it’s very rare that I say that my recipes are awesome but, uhm…

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: …I just enjoy eating those things.

I love it.

One of the other things is minced pies, which is not minced meat.

It’s a fruit spiced sweet pie filling, like individual pastry minced pies.

That was actually my very first recipe that I ever came up with back in the day.

I make those at Christmas.

I’m, like, “man, these are so good, I should be eating these all year round.”

For some reason, it doesn’t feel right eating a minced pie in the summer but…

That’s part of the special thing for me, is that I do have recipes that I only make at Christmas.

So it does feel special.

So in that situation with my mom and stepdad, and stepbrothers, I’ve got to have this food.

And they’re, like, “oh, can I try one of those?”

Actually, my raw minced pies have completely replaced the cooked, store-bought minced pies that they would normally get.

So, it’s all about the raw minced pies, you know, whatever they’re having for dinner.

But yeah, I think you really crack it, once you can get to that point where people are like, “yours actually look nicer than mine.”

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And I’m just thinking, “I’m just eating a normal dinner.”

 

Sara Grove: “Can I have what you’re having?”

 

Russell James: “Yeah, can I just try that?”

And I think that’s great, to get that is a gift to give to people. You know, “I found this amazing thing, this amazing lifestyle and all this beautiful food.”

And it’s not about being 100 percent raw, it’s not about any of that.

It’s really just about these other choices or stuff that you can bring in.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Because that’s kind of how it started for me, you know.

 

Sara Grove: I love how you said that. It sounds like you’re kind of establishing your own new food tradition so that it still feels special.

I found the same thing, that through most of the year and most of my days and weeks, I don’t spend a whole lot of time on food.

So I’m doing a really fast smoothie, salad wraps, that kind of thing.

So around the holidays is when I do enjoy getting a little bit more involved in doing some gourmet raw recipes, and trying some things that I wouldn’t necessarily put the effort into during the different time of the year.

That can be a fun way too—like you’re saying, it’s not like you have to be the only one that’s not having the special holiday something.

You need to kind of establish your own.

I love that your family now looks forward to your pies more than anything.

(Laugh)

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

Yeah, yeah, totally.

And that’s definitely key.

A lot of people have some time off of work during Christmas as well.

So Christmas generally is more of a foodie time, isn’t it?

So that’s one thing I think people think when they first see raw food or they get into it and they’ve been into it for a while, and they see pizzas and all this dehydrated stuff and all that—and that’s all good but it’s not like for raw food that we’re using a dehydrator like an oven, you know—

 

Sara Grove: Yeah, every day.

 

Russell James: Dehydrating the pizza base, you might use a dehydrator. I mean even if you’re quite prolific, you might use a dehydrator once a week to dehydrate a lot of wraps and crackers, and maybe a couple of sweet bits and pieces.

Fill up the dehydrator with some kale chips, and then you do the rest, like you said, you know, with wraps and salads and smoothies and all that good stuff.

And then, maybe integrate that into, you know, whatever you’re doing that’s not raw as well.

So yeah, Christmas is a time to maybe roll out the more special stuff.

Actually, this year, we’re putting together a recipe package, which we’re calling Scrumptious Holiday Recipes: Effort to Effortless.

And it’s exactly like you said.

 

Sara Grove: Oh, wow.

 

Russell James: So if you want to get that, we’re going to put it up at therawchef.com/holidays.

It’s going to be a freebie. I’m blessed with some wonderful readers and viewers in the US.

We’re covering Thanksgiving because we don’t really have Thanksgiving here in the UK.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Although it’s interesting, we’re starting to see that come true.

You know, we’ve got Whole Foods here, so they do the Thanksgiving thing.

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And we actually had Black Friday last year, which was bizarre…

 

Sara Grove: Really?

 

Russell James: …because it’s a completely new thing to us.

Yeah.

 

Sara Grove: Huh.

 

Russell James: But because we’ve got wonderful people in the US, we want to do something to cover Thanksgiving; that covers Christmas and also that covers New Year because, you know, New Years is really about using up some of the stuff that you maybe have left over from Christmas. I think if you have the bits and pieces, it tends to be lighter. You know, we’re trying to cover the bases.

So if you’re not at home, I think it’s just something as well.

And if you’re into raw food and you’re into healthier eating, it brings up a little bit of anxiety when you have to go other people’s houses.

You know, you’re wondering what it is you’re going to be getting.

So there’s some success.

It’s more on-the-go stuff that can be prepared quickly.

And you can just take it to someone’s house as a contribution and without making them feel, like, “Oh, I’m bringing my own food.”

(Laugh)

You know?

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: You can take it as a contribution and then, you can maybe eat there, you know, cooked veggies and stuff, and have some of your raw food stuff on the plate and it can be that wonderful shared experience.

So you can put them together.

 

Sara Grove: That’s wonderful.

What a great gift.

So that’s going to be at therawchef.com/holidays.

 

Russell James: Holidays with an “s,” yeah.

 

Sara Grove: Wonderful.

That is because so many people travel for the holidays and that does just add another layer of planning that needs to take place.

 

Russell James: Right.

And everyone has different comfort levels, right?

Like I said, I will travel to—whether it’s my girlfriend Natasha’s parents or whether it’s my parents’—you know, I’m in this position now where this is what I do for a living.

So, nobody sees it as weird.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: But that’s not always…I mean, doing it for a living does not automatically give you that pass.

I think it has gotten more popular and more people know about it and you hear about it a lot more often, plus I do it for a living.

It’s kinda like, you know, “Russell is a chef, he’s going to bring this stuff and it’s not weird anymore.”

But there are different levels of comfort.

It might even be that, you know, you’re in a new relationship and you’re going to meet the parents for the first time.

That would be one where it’s, “is bringing my own food going to be weird?”

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: And it might well be if you do it unannounced.

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

Exactly.

 

Russell James: I think you’ve got to consider that maybe, you ask who you are with and ask how they’re going to feel about it.

Just ask if you could make a contribution, and make it kind of funny: you say, “I’ve discovered this new thing, I don’t know if you’ve heard about it: raw food.I’m really getting into making this food. I’d love to bring something to share with you guys.”

Even if it’s a dessert, you’ll be surprised how people take it.

I did actually have a situation once where a previous girlfriend of mine, her parents had gone onto my site and actually got recipes off my site and made stuff for me.

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: They cooked dinner without telling me they were going to do that, like…

 

Sara Grove: Really?

 

Russell James: …chocolate pie, they made my pomegranate cheesecake, I mean, gold stars all around, you know.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: It was really amazing.

And I had a salad and they made this dessert for me and they had that Christmas pudding.

It was great.

I still felt a little bit strange but—

 

Sara Grove: Right.

(Laugh)

 

Russell James: I think I felt strange because it was a very British strange, like, you’ve gone through all this trouble.

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: Right.  You’ve done so much just to make sure that I could eat, like, you didn’t have to do that.

 

Russell James: Right.

 

Sara Grove: I love when you talked about framing it. When you’re talking to the host or to your extended family, whoever, wherever you’re hosting some of your holiday get-togethers, and framing it like “this is something that I’m so excited about and I’m so into, and I’d love to come and share it” instead of, “oh, I actually can’t eat all of these things, so I just want to make sure there’s options.”

It’s like, even just the way you communicate about it can change the impression so much and change how comfortable it is for everyone.

 

Russell James: Yeah, totally.

I think it comes to a place of I love, to contribute rather than “I don’t want to eat your food.”

Then, that’s obviously…

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: Yeah, “I can’t eat your food because I’m doing this other thing,” you know, that’s a different message and just a different energy.

 

Sara Grove: Yeah.

I’d love to switch gears a tiny bit and then maybe come back to some of your favorite things to make around the holidays.

But I see this interesting psychological pattern that happens a lot around the holiday season where people, you know, whether they’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I feel that it’s kind of a kick-off sometimes.

Or even here now, you know, tomorrow being Halloween, it’s kind of a kick-off for a lot of people to start pounding the junk food but—

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: —there’s this psychological thing that happens, where people are like, “okay, the holidays are my time to just totally indulge, eat whatever I want, feel no shame and then, January 1st, I have to make a new resolution and kick back into gear.”

 

Russell James: Right.

 

Sara Grove: Which can be destructive on a lot of levels and make it that much harder to start reaching your goals in January because you don’t have a lot of momentum.

Is that something that you’ve experienced?

 

Russell James: Yeah.

I was actually just talking to someone about this earlier and it’s a really interesting thing.

What you just described there is kind of a diet mentality, right?

It’s, “I’m going to deprive myself on January the 1st, so I need to enjoy myself now.”

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: This all comes from a place of love and support for yourself, you know. I really want to be careful not to say, you know, “don’t do this, that’s wrong, this is what you should be doing.”

But I think it’s just having an awareness of that cycle, because then you can make choices.

It’s all about choices: choices you make for yourself and what choices you’re going to make.

I think for me, another choice to consider might be where if you really get into a healthier kind of state of mind and you have health goals at the start of December and really start to focus on, you know, “I’m not going to necessarily do what everyone else is doing on January the 1st,” that will be a New Year’s resolution, because I think by now we all know the statistics…

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: …or we could at least guess how many people stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

So, it really moving out of that cycle, which is another choice.

Another way that you could do if you want to do that would be to start to think about your health as early as you can.

Like you said, it’s even Halloween for some people.

So you might want to start thinking about it now.

I think because we don’t have Thanksgiving, it doesn’t really start for us until, you know the week before Christmas.

I think when people are breaking up in office parties. Breaking up, I mean, from—not breaking up in relationships—

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: —I mean from work.

 

Sara Grove: Although that also does statistically increase during the holidays.

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

Right.

 

Sara Grove: Yes, strangely enough.

 

Russell James: Yeah. And that will have an effect on your eating as well.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: You know, they’re breaking up from work. And they’re getting their work holiday.

So you know, office parties and everyone who is in that environment has a “Christmas do,” as we would say—you know, where they’ll go out to a restaurant and have probably multiple meals.

Because you’ll go to your workplace, you might go to your partner’s workplace, and then there’s probably another couple in there as well.

So not going to multiple workplace Christmas events where you’ll have a lot of food and you’ll have a lot of drinking.

Another option is to start thinking about it now, maybe start thinking about it at the beginning of December and getting in, so that maybe you’re into a little bit of a rhythm by the time that these big meals come around.

Then you’ll find yourself in a different mind-set rather than, you know, “I’m going to splurge now and then make up for it in January.”

You feel like there’s a psychology of, as humans, we would rather hold onto something we’ve already got. We find that easier to do rather than get something new.

So if you feel you’ve already got some health in place, like, you’ve already got a rhythm of eating healthier, your natural tendency is going to be to want to maintain that—even without any kind of effort, without even consciously thinking, “no, I can’t have that, I can’t have this.”
You’ll naturally be into that. Like if you’re having maybe a green smoothie a day, if you’re having one more raw meal a day than you would normally have.

And for some people that, you know, they’re not really having anything on a regular basis if they’re just starting out, maybe they’re just interested in this.

Just make a kind of effort. As soon as you can to get into that groove, make sure you’re properly hydrated and all that good stuff.

Because then it becomes about, like I said, maintaining that.

Then, by the time January 1st comes around, it’s not even about New Year’s resolution, it’s just a continuation of what you’ve already started.

 

Sara Grove: Right. Just enjoying the lifestyle that you’re creating for yourself.

 

Russell James: Right. Yeah.

 

Sara Grove: Yeah. That’s much more sustainable.

And depending on where you are in your health and, you know, some people don’t have the luxury of eating everything.

For a lot of us, it’s just by choice: we want to feel better and eat certain ways.

I know for myself, the first few holiday seasons, I started feeling lacking or deprived, or like I was missing out and I really wanted something.

I just would let myself eat it because it would remind me (laugh) of how I don’t feel good afterwards.

 

Russell James: Right. That is another valuable lesson definitely.

And that’s, I think, another part of what I was saying, you know,if you’re in that feel good place and then you do something that jogs the system, it’s less forgiving.

(Laugh)

So you’re like, “huh, this is why I do what I do.” Definitely.

 

Sara Grove: It can be a positive reminder instead of just telling yourself, “no, no, no” all the time.

 

Russell James: Yeah,

And there’s that psychology around it that’s in there.

That is the message that you’re giving to yourself when you’ve got that January the 1st deadline looming, it’s that what you’re doing on January the 1st isn’t going to be enjoyable, so you need to enjoy what you’re doing now

So you create that link between filling yourself with all kinds of foods and, you know, stuff that you actually know is not supportive of you, you link that to, “oh, this is a good time.”

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: When actually, we’re not talking about deprivation here.

We’re talking about supporting yourself and enjoying it. You know, you’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing, not just the feeling of being healthy, but actually the taste of the food and the feeling of actually eating the food.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Again, coming back to that shared experience, there is that phrase out there, and I think it was started by Tony Robbins: “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”

And I’m kind of like, why can’t we have both, right?

(Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: Exactly.

It is funny, like, I feel like the more those associations build up or maybe just the less you end up eating other things that are artificially sweet and whatever, I found that the more I eat something, like—you know I used to hate celery. I couldn’t stand that. Now I adore it, like I can eat stalks and stalks and stalks of that stuff and I can’t imagine tasting it the way I used to taste it.

 

Russell James: Yeah, totally.

 

Sara Grove: It’s an interesting process.

 

Russell James: Totally alkalizing for you as well. I mean, can you believe that I didn’t use to like dates? I mean, I try not to eat too many dates now, you know—

—because they are, you know, high in sugar and, you have to make sure to clean your teeth afterwards and all that kind of stuff and—

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

 

Russell James: —like it just sticks to it and then rots your teeth.

They’re definitely a treat but yeah, I…I used to not like dates.

I didn’t like olives.

I didn’t like nori.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Lots of things that now, I just, I love.

 

Sara Grove: Speaking of just enjoying and indulging and feeling great and tasting them all at the same time,  can you share some of your very, very, very, very top favorite recipes to make around Christmas time?

 

Russell James: Yeah.

So, I mentioned two already. I probably mentioned my two favorites already.

I picked too early and I was talking about the Pigs in Blankets—

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: —that are oil-coated sausages; that’s what we also call it.

And yeah, they’re just fantastic.

They’re in my Christmas e-book.

We’ll see if we can stick something as well in the free download that I mentioned.

And then, the minced pies, they’ll be in there as well. They’re on my site at the moment too.

These kind of stewed fruit pies with orange zest and lemon zest, and mixed spice, we would call it here a version of pumpkin spice, I guess—

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: —in the US.

I also do raw stuffing, which is really nice, with cranberry sauce, rolled cranberry sauce. It goes  down really, really nicely.

And for the cranberry sauce, I tend to use, you know, dried cranberries that haven’t got any of  the sulphur dioxide or extra sugar on or anything like that, you know?

Just naturally dried organic cranberries.

And what else?

If I’m going to have some cooked food with my Christmas meal, with all of that, maybe, it’ll be steamed broccoli and steamed sweet potato.

Actually, there’s a raw sweet potato, a dish that I do which is a curried sweet potato. It’s grated sweet potatoes with cashew curry sauce, and a good thing about that is that you can go really light on the sauce because you flavor up really nicely with a good organic curry powder, a little bit of apple cider vinegar in there, some salt.

 

Sara Grove: Wow, that sounds divine.

I love curries.

 

Russell James: And then some walnuts and grapes in there as well.

Maybe, a few raisins or you could Christmasify it.

Maybe I’ll put this in the download as well.

The maybe, we’ll do a raw curried sweet potato salad with some cranberries.

 

Sara Grove: Oh, that sounds so delicious.

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

Yeah.

 

Sara Grove: (Laugh)

I look forward to trying to make them.

It sounds so good.

 

Russell James: Wonderful.

 

Sara Grove: Well thank you.

 

Russell James: Thank you.

 

Sara Grove: I am excited already now to make some things I haven’t made before.

 

Russell James: (Laugh)

 

Sara Grove: That will be good.

Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your advice and experience on this.

Eating raw can be so awesome and wonderful and delicious, and it scares people so much sometimes.

 

Russell James: Yeah, absolutely.

And it totally doesn’t have to be that. I think it’s a time where you can spend a bit more time on food and you can share it with your family and you can decide what’s important to you and you can create some love and shared experience, and it can be a real talking point if you get a bit more creative.

 

Sara Grove: Right.

 

Russell James: Yeah, that’s what we are here to help with.

 

Sara Grove: I love that.

Making it a gift—a shared experience and a gift.

 

Russell James: Yeah.

 

Sara Grove: Beautiful.

Alright Russell, thank you so much for joining us today and we wish you a happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

 

Russell James: Thank you so much. Back to you and all your readers.

 

russell-jamesConnect with Russell

You are invited to connect with Russell and try some of his out-of-this-world raw vegan recipes.

I swear you’ve never tasted raw food like this before.

 

Connect with Russell James online at:

http://therawchef.com

Check out the special goodies he is putting together for the holidays here:

http://therawchef.com/holidays

 

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Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day 🙂

-your rfm team

 

 

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