Chef V, Veronica Wheat

Thinking about doing a cleanse? Going raw vegan in summer is easy and can help detoxify your body before, during and after the cleanse.

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There’s a misconception about me….

Some people describe me as a vegan chef.

Maybe it’s because there’s another chef Veronica out there. But she’s a low fat vegan chef. Personally, as a certified nutritional therapist, I don’t think low fat diets are very healthy.

Or, maybe because this blog post interview with yours truly discloses the fact that my first job, at age 15, was working at a vegetarian restaurant.

But I’m not vegan nor 100% vegetarian. 

However, I do love and advocate the vegan diet.

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ten easy ways to go raw
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Going raw and vegan in summer (or anytime of year, really) is like pouring fuel cleaner into your car.

Meat, especially non-organic meat, gunks up your transmission; it’s much harder on your digestive system. Consequently, when you eat lots of meat, it can slow down your liver’s natural detoxification abilities.

So you can use my recipes below for giving your system a cleanse while feeling like your indulging.

Especially now because as I write this, it’s the heart of summer: the best time to do a cleanse.

One of the keys to successfully doing a cleanse—anytime of the year—is to not feel like you’re missing out.

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Chef V Veronica Wheat and Coco

Going Raw Vegan in Summer

And when you learn to make raw vegan recipes that taste just as good as their non-vegan cooked alternatives, you definitely won’t feel like you’re punishing yourself doing a cleanse.

Eating raw makes you feel lighter. Which helps if you’ve fallen off the wagon as of late, like I did during my three-week trip to Europe eating decadent meals.

Here’s another plus of going raw in summer: cutting down on electric bills. The last thing you want to do when it’s really hot outside is turning on the oven to 425 degrees to bake, say, a salmon fillet.

Sure, you might have air conditioning. But where I live, in San Diego, many people don’t have it. Especially those people who live near the coast. Even if you do have A/C, though, you’ll save money by not using your oven.

Chef V at the farmer's market

What is Raw Food?

Technically, raw food is prepared at a temperature that won’t destroy naturally-occurring compounds and enzymes. There’s some debate as to what that magic number is.

But most raw foodists consider 104 degrees (fahrenheit) to be the maximum cooking temperature.

Therefore, if you like broccoli but not when it’s completely raw, you can lightly cook it.

You can also buy a food dehydrator to make raw food snacks such as dried fruit. However, here’s where the raw food temperature debate comes into play.

Dehydrated raw food still qualifies as raw by some people even though the dehydration temperature is usually between 105 and 115.

And don’t get me started about raw almonds. That’s for a whole other blog topic.

Raw almonds really aren’t raw; they are pasteurized.

(Actually, I did write a related diatribe about almond milk.)

Don’t get caught up in the technicality of what is and isn’t raw food.

If it’s something that comes directly from the ground or a tree, and is, at worst, very minimally processed, then I consider it a raw food.

In other words, if it’s a fruit or vegetable or nut or seed, it’s raw. Or, if it’s a byproduct of any of these, cooked at an ultra low temperature, it’s also raw to me.

raw food pyramid

Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Isn’t Going Raw Enough?

Most raw food is very easy for your belly to digest, with maybe the exception of nightshade veggies like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

That’s why introducing plenty of raw vegan foods into your diet when you’re cleansing is smart.

But isn’t going raw enough? Why also vegan? Can’t I eat raw cheese during a cleanse?

Great questions! Glad you asked 🙂

Yes, raw dairy is an option. But like raw almonds, raw dairy really isn’t raw, according to raw foodie purists.

The more important point is that dairy, even if it’s raw is not ideal for cleansing. In fact, I suggest you completely avoid dairy for at least 3-7 days before you start a cleanse.

Dairy gums up the works. If you’re liver is sluggish, eating cheese certainly isn’t going to help it release toxins faster.

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Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Here’s What I’m Eating Now

Hardly anybody wants to eat hot soup in summer. Or drink scalding bone broth.

But a light yet satisfying cold soup is just what Mother Nature calls for this time of year.

That’s why I love gazpacho in summer.

And here’s one of my favorites: Raw Cucumber Cilantro Avocado Gazpacho. I know, sounds like a mouthful, right? Well, it’s got a huge taste.

For a main course, how about some pasta. Pasta … That’s not raw, is it? And it’s not vegan if it’s got ricotta in it.

But my Raw Pesto Lasagna with Macadamia Ricotta contains zoodles, not noodles. Check out the recipe to see how I make a raw vegan ricotta!

Finally, it’s time for dessert. I’m a sucker for cheesecake. But obviously, regular cheesecake is a no-no when you’re cleansing.

To get my healthy dessert on, I’m making this Raw Caramel Cheesecake.

Yes, it’s possible to enjoy a decadent-tasting dessert while doing your own cleanse?

Now, I feel I have to clarify something important here. If you’re doing one of my 3, 5 or 7 day cleanses, you’re sticking to Organic Green Drinks, Vegan Protein Shakes and Detox Soups.

But before and after the official cleanse is over, treat yourself with one of these delicious raw vegan desserts.

Follow these recipes to a T, or, pardon the corny pun, to a V, and you’ll have no problem going raw vegan in summer!

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