15 Jul 2013

book review: the rawvolution continues


Hey, guys! Today the post is a book review for "The Rawvolution Continues"; an amazing and beautifully put-together raw food cookbook and lifestyle guide from the raw vegan gurus Matt and Janabai Amsden. They own their own raw food cafe, Euphoria Loves Rawvolution, and know all the ins and outs of the diet. In their book, they share all this information with you, and more importantly -  over 100 drool-worthy raw recipes. Go out and buy it now! Here's my interview with them, mixed in with mouth-watering photos.

"First of all I have to say that I loved the book. It’s totally comprehensive, full of gorgeous colour photos, shares your beautiful story, and gives the need-to-knows about living raw. I think anyone could pick up this book and be inspired to become a raw vegan on the spot! Some of your entrée recipes are absolutely jaw-dropping, like the enchiladas, falafel wraps, californication rolls, not-so-fried rice, taquitos, curried vegetables, deep dish spinach pizza, Buddha-bites wontons, and cheesy broccoli. My mouth is watering just typing out the names! I love the Kids’ Faves chapter and the interesting blurbs on Rawvolutionary Heroes every few pages. I think this is one of the most useful and extensive raw food cookbooks out there today. I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in green cuisine, healthy eating and experimenting in the kitchen. On to the interview!

Do you feel that where you are now – married with twins, co-owning a thriving raw foods café, and being accomplished authors – is fate or pure luck? Do you think you were destined to end up here or was it simply a series of fortunate events? 
Thomas Jefferson, who one of our sons (Guthrie Jefferson Amsden), is named after said, “I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” If fate is in fact, a real phenomena, I believe we must still be active participants, to manifest our fates. Janabai and I certainly feel fortunate, though I’m not sure that’s the same as luck.

What do you see in the future, for your business, family, etc.? Any major plans or just going with the flow? 
The overall plan is to introduce more people to, educate people on, and help facilitate people being turned on to the benefits, and healing potential of raw foods. How exactly that will look, is ever-evolving. So, we’re going with the flow, but with the overall plan in sight.


What is the most important lesson you have learned through your personal journey in the raw food movement? Is there more than one?
Acceptance. Acceptance of others, and their choices, acceptance of my self, acceptance of my circumstances. I feel if I can truly learn that one, I’ll be in good shape. I certainly haven’t mastered it, but I’m working on it.

What are your favourite indulgent foods? And what are your daily essential foods?
Greens are a daily essential. They’re the foundation of a holistic diet, in my opinion. The great thing is that in a raw food lifestyle the indulgences are still pretty darn healthful. A raw, vegan dessert, made with coconut, or organic fruit, or nuts, and sweetened with coconut nectar, is miles ahead of a traditional white flour, white sugar pastry, and can be absolutely delicious. In fact, someone eating it might not even know it’s health food. 


Juice or smoothie. Go. 
I’m not someone who believes you have to choose one or the other. Clearly whole foods are a good idea. Smoothies allow you to easily incorporate foods in their whole form. They also allow you to combine, into one drink, a lot of high-octane superfoods that you might not have the time or opportunity to consume on their own. Juice allows you to take advantage of the nutrition in an amount of vegetables, that most people would find impossible to eat in a day. Juices also allow one to cleanse, and rest the digestion, whilst still receiving a lot of nutrition. 

Do you feel that the raw food movement is here to stay and growing every day, or simply a fad being touted by celebrities and others at the moment?  
People have been asking me that very question for 15 years, so clearly, I have to say it’s here to stay. It’s popularity in pop culture may wax and wane, but people will never abandon a truth, or a concept that truly works. If one person heals themselves through raw nutrition, it doesn’t matter what the magazines say is “hot”, or “in”. 


If you could be anywhere in the universe with anyone, living or dead, at any time in the past or future – where, who, and when would you choose and what would you be doing? 
I really would be interested in several times and places, and it would be very difficult to choose. It would be so powerful to be with Siddhārtha Gautama when he attained enlightenment, and became the Buddha, or with Christ while he was teaching. It would so inspiring to be around Thomas Jefferson, and the founding fathers in the 1770’s. Their intelligence and revolutionary spirit would be a real gift to experience first hand. As a musician, I’d love to be in England or America, in the 1960’s and 70’s. I write extensively, in The RAWvolution Continues, about what we call RAWvolutionaries, those who were early proponents of raw foodism. It would be great to hear them spread the word. People such as Pythagoras, Gandhi, or even Gypsy Boots and the Nature Boys of Tahquitz Canyon, and Topanga Canyons, where we now live. 

Do you have favourite animals or pets? I’m a cat person all the way.
We both love cats, but we have a standard poodle named Lulu, so I guess, technically, we’re dog people. Lulu is about five and a half years old, and the prettiest pup that ever lived. And yes, she’s a raw food dog, though certainly not a vegan. 

What was your inspiration to write The Rawvolution Continues? 
We had tons of recipes that our fans were quite anxious to get their hands on. The recipes in The Rawvolution Continues represent all of the dishes we’ve created since opening our café in Santa Monica in 2006, so there are a lot of things people have been enjoying for years, and are eager to make for themselves. Also, we’re very interested in reaching those that may not yet be aware of the concept of raw foods. A beautiful book is a great way to reach those folks.

Thank you so much for sharing yourselves. Much love and gratitude to you.  
Thank you, Emily! Much love!"