Since we moved into our RV 15 months ago we’ve had to adjust the way meals go, but not as much as one would think. Our home was always overflowing with fresh produce and now our RV is overflowing with fresh produce. You see, I’m a bit of a food snob, and as such, we eat 90% RAW and 90%+ organic. Fresh organic apples, oranges, grapefruits, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, grapes, cherries, all kinds of berries, kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots, beets, bell peppers, cucumbers, arugula, baby red chard, squash, zucchini you name it we blend it, juice it and/or eat it raw! Being a RAW foodie works well with our RV lifestyle because precious time, energy & water is not wasted in the kitchen.
Instead we juice and blend most of our meals and benefit from the phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that are the key to preventing so many modern diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and allergies! In this new age of genetically modified, over-refined, chemical laden non-food, this has never been more important! One large glass of pure, raw blended fruits and vegetables will help improve the immune system, increase energy, strengthen bones, clear skin, and lower the risk of disease. For maximum benefit, we consume a huge variety of fruits and vegetables and include herbs and seeds, like flax and chia and other ingredients like wheat and barley grass, psyllium seeds, wheat germ and my favorite protein powder – Hemp!
My must have kitchen appliances are my Vitamix and my Breville Juicer – I couldn’t live without them! Everyday they are running non-stop. The kids all juice at will and enjoy creating their own concoctions with the options available. A typical day of food goes something like this: Fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast, served with a side of fresh watermelon and fresh orange and grapefruit juice leaves us bursting with energy and spunk. For lunch a green smoothie, raw veggies with a homemade cucumber dill dip & a salad with tons of greens, veggies, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and anything else we have on hand, topped with an orange vinaigrette or a balsamic vinaigrette. For dinner, fresh vegetable juice, a baked potato topped with homemade, fresh Ranch dressing and chopped green onions, fresh Olathe Sweet Corn and a scrumptious black bean burger topped with a vidalia onion, tomatoes, kale and wrapped in collards. Desert, is always fruit. Our favorite concoction at the moment is fresh strawberries marinated (for a few minutes) in fresh juiced oranges!
We even make our own homemade almond milk as we’ve eliminated dairy from our diet. Once you start making your own almond milk, you start getting very creative … we love almond banana milk BS hot nut chai made with our very own Indian Chai Blend!!! And for our highly active, competitive kids … on the mornings of their competitions I make the smoothie, “Stoked”, It is almond milk, banana, pitted cherries, blueberries, hemp protein (for Kady and Kerry; Whey for the boys) … talk about Pumped for the comp!!!
And that’s another thing … our kids want to be professional kayakers! Seriously–I’ve never seen Grady more committed to anything in my life — after 2 years of enjoying it, he’s committed to it. In fact, he finished High School 1 year early so he can devote all his time to training. As their mom, I cringed when they would buy Gatorade or Power Bars and I got nervous when they started drinking Red Bull. I’ve scoured the Internet, bought every book known to man and I’ve realized their are two components that make up an athlete’s routine: training and diet. All top athletes devote hours to their training, hiring coaches and following strict regimented schedules. Not many pay much attention to diet and if they do it’s about bulk. Grady and Brody had promising careers as High School wrestlers, in fact, the High School coach actively recruited them despite the fact that they were homeschooled. They competed at the Middle School level and romped the competition, but they were skinny always at the bottom of their weight class. Their coach was always on my case … “Get those boys home and feed ’em some steak and potatoes – aint no way they can grow on lettuce.” This got me to thinking … are there any plant based diets for top level athletes? Are there any plant based diets with the goal being nothing short of optimal health and vitality? The answer to that question in a resounding YES!! I found out that the greatest stressor is dietary stress. Our bodies are hungry and depleted of nutrition. The absence of healthy food in a diet is a form of stress and stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, rendering them diminished versions of what they can be!
As a result I turned our food pyramid into a fruits, vegetable, legumes, nuts, seeds pyramid. We eat little to no meat … on occasion Dan will form a mutiny and for a few days we’ll (they) will eat spaghetti with meatballs and an amazing sauce, Jambalaya, chili, etc … I don’t run the kitchen like a Nazi Militant, if people are dying for meat or starchy foods, then by golly, go get it out of your system, but for the most part, we eat as healthy as we possibly can. Dan did freak out a bit and demand that rice and spaghetti be a staple in our home — something about the kids needing some bulk … so I acquiesced and we have Amaranth, Quinoa, wild rice, potatoes, oats, etc on a regular basis. And fats, that’s so easy … Avocado, cocout meat and milk, raw nuts and raw oils! I could survive on coconuts. In fact, one night we had the pleasure of watching a marathon of Naked and Afraid and I decided I could make it ONLY if we were on an island with coconuts … the milk has electrolytes and the meat is high quality fat … health promoting fatty acids! But, then I was informed that you cannot survive on coconut milk alone, you MUST have water — I must find out if this is true so that if I find myself on a deserted island, I will know what I must do!
Our family eats to live, we don’t express our love with food, as so many across the globe do. Our best friends in the entire world, feed us until we burst — steak, baked potatoes, salad, corn, desert, after desert desert and to them that’s love … and we fell loved because we know that’s their way of expressing it. I absolutely love southern hospitality, but if you come to our house or our RV we’ll take you out onto the river, or into the mountains to climb or hike…we’ll embrace your family, make you forget that you’re not 25 and eliminate all your strife, fears, worry and stress for a few hours. Then we’ll mix ya up a green smoothie or juice a recovery drink for you and sit around the fire with our families and just chill after an exciting eventful day! Faith, family & fun … that’s our way.