The Clever Cookstr chats with Stacy Stowers, the "Raw Nanny" and author of Eat Raw Not Cooked, to get her tips and tricks for eating well on the road, and for getting kids to love their vegetables.
CC: It seems that one of the roadblocks people run into is around traveling. What are some tips you have for eating well when you're not in your home environment?
SS: I'm rarely in my home environment! I'm in the car, I'm flying, I'm out to dinner. Even when I'm home in New York, I'm going out to restaurants. So I'm rarely in that day-to-day home environement. The biggest thing is to keep it simple. Avocado is really satisfying, and full of good fats, so that's one of my favorite things to travel with. I'll take romaine leaves and raw dip. I'll take a travel blender on the road.
As far as eating out, I believe that we can eat anywhere. It's all in the attitude. Are we going out to eat the best raw food meal or the best salad in town? Really, when I go out, I'm going because of who's sitting in front of me. Not everyone I go out with wants to go out to a raw food restaurant, and I enjoy lots of different restaurants. So if I don't get the best salad, I'm okay with that.
CC: Let's talk about your food philosophy. I know you don't eat 100% raw. Can you tell us how you came to that place, and how you tell people to approach decisions about what they should eat?
SS: My food philosophy is, "people first, and then food." People are the most important thing. Whenever I walk into a family's home, it's about how to bring people together around the table.
I had been disabled for 17 years after getting valley fever, which turned into chronic valley fever, and was called a "disease without a cure." I got well eating a really boring raw food diet, so that's where I started being creative. I started as a raw vegan, and I thought that worked really well for me in healing and cleansing. But after that time, it wasn't a diet for me to stay on. I opted to start adding eggs and cooked fish into my diet.
I also believe that what works for me isn't always going to work for you. I really approach every family as individuals. I think the best thing we can do is stop judging what's on someone else's plate. My diet works for me, but I'll never believe that my diet is what everyone should be eating. Treating everyone as individuals is so important. The only two things I know for sure are that we need to get off processed foods, and that raw food heals. So I try to get families off processed foods and adding more raw foods into their diet,
CC: So maybe thinking less about eating one specific way 100% of the time, and more about creating a flexible and sustainable framework?
SS: Exactly. I don't walk into a family's home with Stacy's Plan. I try to recreate the foods that families already like, that will work for them.
Photos courtesy of Stacy Stowers.