Dear Doctor

Is something bothering you? Can you not find the answer?

Come and take a seat…

As your trusted Dr and confidante, tell me what’s on your mind.

I love this page as it is my FAQs and it’s a place where I get to hear those niggling issues that you have around raw food. No question is too small or silly, any question is only a learning experience for you to gain knowledge and grow onto the next stage of attaining exceptional health.

If you have a question you need answered and you’re happy to share it on-line (you can choose to stay anonymous) please fill in the form below. This is my free service to you - it’s important for me to share information; around the what, why’s and how’s of raw food and raw food lifestyle, and as a researcher I love to have an excuse to find out more stuff! See that geeky side of me will just never leave…

If you need any further advice with regard to this issue or any others please book an appointment with The Raw Bombshell for private, confidential coaching to take you to your utmost potential.

Ask a question with the form here

Click on the questions below...
Is it wise to add salt?

I have noticed in yours and other raw foodies recipes salt being used. Is this wise? I thought salt was a bad thing to include in your diet and very rarely use it in my food although at times I do really crave salty food.

With regards, A confused Bertie

Dear Bertie

Don’t be confused as in my heart of hearts I do not believe salt or rather sodium chloride to be bad! It is a necessary chemical for the body to work in that sodium is required for the maintenance of extracellular fluid volume (I’m talking blood here!!!) so sodium regulates blood pressure. It is also necessary for the generation and transmission of electrical impulses in nerves and muscles and for the uptake of nutrients from the small intestine. So as you can see sodium is important for our bodies to works.

So, why the bad press about salt? Well, our bodies need very little sodium for the above functioning of our bodies, about 4.2g salt a day. And this is where the problem regarding salt arises as the majority of the salt consumed in the standard UK (or American) diet comes from processed, pre-packed foods ie breads, cereals, sauces etc. On the whole the average consumer does not know where their salt is coming from as most people do not spend time reading labels and calculating their salt intake. As much as 75% of salt is consumed this way, leading to an average salt consumption of around 10g. Therefore, nutritionists recommend as a way of reducing your overall salt consumption the easy ways to cut it back are to not add salt to your food when you are cooking and to not add salt on your meal at the table.

But, you’re a raw foodist right? You are not eating processed foods are you? And at a guess you are probably not eating a high amount of meat or fish – historically where salt has always been obtained from (read Yes, you will be getting salt from certain raw foods: olives; celery; sea vegetables, spinach but it is still in small quantities check out the sodium content of common foods (link and compare the sodium quantities of vegetables compared to meat and processed food!

Now, with the science out of the way let’s answer your question! Yes, I frequently add salt to my diet not only for the taste; I’m a salty loving gal! But also I find it to be a great trick for changing the texture of vegetables. But and this is a big but I only use a pinch, less than a ¼ tsp in any one recipe or up to ½ tsp when salting vegetables. As the government guidelines are to get everyone to eat a recommended daily allowance of 6g (a heaped tsp) I feel I am perfectly within my dietary rights to indulge myself with a pinch of salt.

With that information in mind, I leave the final decision up to you as to whether you want to add any salt to your raw food recipes. Have fun and don’t stress!!!

Much love
Dr Claire xx

How do I eat raw while travelling?

I do a lot of travelling; in the past I have usually just grabbed whatever is available on the train buffet, aeroplane meal or even the motorway services. In truth, there is not a lot of option for a budding raw food enthusiast. I can, therefore, see this being the downfall of my raw food diet. Help!

With love J

Dear J

Travelling whilst raw – mmm sounds like a title to a dodgy movie, oh I digress – is certainly sent to test us! Being tested though is good as it highlights our personal commitment to what we believe in and the extent to which we are prepared to bend to accommodate everyday issues. This is very much an individual decision and it is one you need to ask yourself and find within your heart whether you wish to remain raw whilst on the move or to take some down-time and eat cooked.

If you have made the commitment to staying raw I suggest PREPARATION is the key! You need to make and take a good old fashioned picnic with you! I love making and taking food with me whenever I go somewhere as it reminds me of childhood and the excitement of going somewhere new, wondering what food mum had packed up for me to eat – usually soggy tomato sandwiches eaten staring out at the rolling countryside whilst the train sped on.

Anyway, I nowadays take with me a Tupperware box filled with salad – usually an ad hoc allsorts kinda salad as I use this an excuse to use up all the perishables in the fridge. I made a delicious salad once with a curry dressing which was met with much envy by my fellow easy jet passageners who had to make do with gourmet gate (ha! the name is such a misnomer) offerings of crisps, pate and chocolate bars. Also a smoothie, an again an aeroplane incidence story, please make sure you have drunk this before you go through security. I had to stand there with my friend one time after the man had x-rayed my bag and found the smoothie – he was going to send us back to deposit the bottle as you are not allowed liquid onto a plane but we convinced him it was better if we drank it, so the two of us drank a litre of green smoothie in about a minute and got a massive fit of giggles as the security man could not believe anyone would take pleasure in drinking something that green!!

Then pack whatever you fancy – my list often includes: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, macademia nuts, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, dried pineapple, gogi berries - you can always buy small bags of each or make up a big bag of trail mix and throw everything in together; dates, carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks, cacao nibs, bananas, apples, oranges and a raw chocolate creation (make your favourite recipe or buy some in).

Think joyously that preparation and taking your own food will save your wallet as you are not paying over the odds for badly made food. But if all else fails there is usually fruit for sale at service stations and on trains.

Have fun on your travels.

Much love,

Dr Claire xx

Is eating raw food going to be boring?

I am all excited about eating raw food and I have read all about the health benefits so I am ready to shine and glow and to be thoroughly fabulous but I am worried that eating raw food is going to be boring, limiting and to be honest un-exciting, as surely raw is all about salads. Is this the case?

Love A

Dear A

Err…. Well YES! A lot of raw food is all about salads but I see salads as a creation of beauty and joy. Think about all the abundant fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds available to you that you can use to create into salads. It certainly IS NOT limiting! In fact, I will set you a coaching challenge: create a different salad for 5 days and to write down what you came up with (please feel free to share your creations with me).

If you need a little inspiration think colour: bright, neutral, contrasting; uniform or texture: crunchy; soft; chewy; hard or flavour: sweet; bitter; sour; soothing or shape: cubes, round; shredded, strips. And of course there are the dressings to go with your salads to add a different dimension.

And on the flip side… Hell NO! A lot of raw food is about imagination. I do not know what happens exactly when a person decides to go raw but some creativity switch is turned on causing apparently disastrous cooks to become masters of raw creation. There are 1000s of awe inspiring recipes out there creating raw pasta sauces; pizzas; burgers; tacos; cakes; biscuits; chocolates and more of all your unhealthy food choices recreated into magical raw healthy alternatives. I can highly recommend Russell James, The Raw Chef’s blog for a la carte raw inspiration as after eating his food for a week I was in heaven! Obviously as well I will thoroughly recommend reading my eBook – Lucious Lunches for Ladies and Gentleman who don’t have time to Lunch for a source of quick and delicious food you can pack up and take to work which does not have to be yet another salad! Yes, a blatant plug but hey its my site!!!

In conclusion, then to your dilemma, the only thing that stops RAW being exciting and beautiful is a lack of enthusiasm and love for your food and I bet your bottom dollar you have that in bucket loads. So enjoy opening up your mind to creativity.

Much love,

Dr Claire xxx

How do I tell my mother-in-law?

Aargghhh….. I am off to meet my new boyfriends mother and stay for the weekend this will without a doubt involve eating and I have been told she loves her food and to cook. I don’t know how to bring up that I eat raw food. Do I just keep quiet and eat cooked food all weekend or make her uncomfortable by telling her I don’t want to eat her food?

Worried M

Dear M

Please don’t be worried! Yes telling people you’re raw is akin to coming out of the closet!!! Ok perhaps not as bad but it does feel that way with fears of how everyone is going to react, the impact it creates on other peoples lifestyle, the uncomfortableness people feel with your style of eating, the dread of the kinds of questions you are going to be asked, the unacceptness of what you do and so on.

But and this is a big but these are fears and do not have to be a reality. Often it is your perception and your uncomfortableness with what you are doing which people pick up on and it is that to which they react. If you are unsure about why you are raw you will portray an image that is not going to convince people that you are not a freak, I don’t mean to sound harsh (well actually I do!) but if you have an inner struggle people love to pounce on it and pull you to pieces. Oh, the world can be so cruel…

However, if you are at peace with where you are on your raw journey then there is very little people can say to upset you and because you are content with your lifestyle and happy with your eating choices this has a positive effect on those around you. How? Because, you portray a happy, content, beautiful person and like moths around a candle people will flutter to you and want to know more of how you attain this peace. Now a big word of warning: PLEASE do not preach at people, this offends people and turns them against what you stand for. It is a sure fire way to make enemies!! No-one likes to hear they are doing something wrong and think about it does telling a smoker that smoking kills actually make them put out their cigarette?

Back then to your dilemma: the best piece of advice I can give you is to be yourself, to be proud of being raw, of making clear what cooked items if any you do eat and the biggest tip I can give is help out in the kitchen. Ask what veg they are using for tea and ask if you can recreate a raw version. Show by example how easy it is to eat raw. Smile lots and do not expect to convert anyone.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend away.

Much love,

Dr Claire xx

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