Go Raw

On the benefits of a raw food diet


When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, I’ve pretty much always had the exercise piece in the bag – it’s the nutrition piece that I’ve found to be most challenging. While I do feel better when I eat a clean diet, I must admit that I love food and I have sweet tooth that usually wins the battle when presented with the question: to indulge or not to indulge?

I’d like to eat healthier, but there’s so much information out there that I usually end up with more questions than answers: Do I have to live on salads? Does everything need to be organic? Most importantly, do I have to give up dessert? If you’ve ever thought it would be easier to stick to a healthy eating regimen if you had some help – a resource for getting and keeping your healthy lifestyle on track – well, you’re in luck. RAW foods inc. is designed to do exactly that.

Based in Providence, RAW foods inc. was formerly known as Raw Dogs Raw Foods for Humans. Besides being a mouthful to say, the old name was a bit confusing for some folks who thought the company either made raw dog food or food from raw hot dogs (ew!). The new name, an acronym for Real, Alive, Whole foods, is more reflective of the company’s new focus: to provide people with information on how to feed themselves and their families with delicious, healthy foods that are good for their bodies as well as our environment.

Sound like a tall order? It won’t once you try some RAW foods inc. cuisine for yourself. When I dined on the mock “tuna” salad – fish-less lunch fare with the look, texture and taste of the real thing – I was seriously shocked by how much I enjoyed it Made with pickle juice-soaked sunflower seeds, kelp, celery and shallots, serve this on bibb lettuce with avocado and tomato and you have yourself a meal you’ll want more of. I know I did; I had seconds.

Along with the company’s new name, co-founders Jessica Leach and Shura Baryshnikov brought on a new partner, Cori Stephens, to help with the rebranding. The women continue to teach classes, provide private in home chef services and parties, and lead cleanses throughout RI and MA, but instead of doing these solely with raw foods, they have expanded to use whole, sustainable cooked options, including fresh local foods and humanely raised meat. As Jessica explains, these new variations help their clients stay on track with healthy lifestyles long-term, as a strictly raw food diet is difficult to maintain with the busy lives we all lead. For me, the most exciting part is that RAW foods inc. has found a way to unite the words “healthy” and “dessert.” I think I’m in love.

Watch for a series of RAW events. The first is at Om Kids Yoga Center in Pawtucket on Tuesday, June 12. The three-hour class is $60 per person and includes two hours of raw foods instruction, eating and samples, followed by a one-hour yoga class with a focus on detoxifying poses and partner yoga for parents and kids.