Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw
Gena Hamshaw is the mastermind – and masterchef! – behind beloved blog Choosingraw.com.
Did you remember to soak, sprout and germinate your filiberts before blending them with acai in a Vitamix with some mulberry chia gel and banana soft serve? What? You don’t speak fluent raw foodist? Have no fear, Gena Hamshaw is here. Gena is the mastermind – and masterchef! – behind beloved blog Choosingraw.com. Even after sharing thousands of recipes already on her blog, she has managed to create a book filled with innovative new ones in addition to providing detailed explanations of the whats, whys and hows of a plant-based diet. Think: hippie food meets your really cool, pretty, fun best friend. Gena has never been shy about sharing her personal struggles with an eating disorder and IBS and it is this candid approach to eating and living that really sets this book apart from others in the genre. She makes vegan eating accessible without being didactic. While a plant-based lifestyle can be intimidating and often expensive, Gena makes it everything but. Like most of us, she too is young and busy and living in an urban environment and doesn’t want to spend hours and days dehydrating, soaking and massaging.
There’s a balance of easy-as-(cashew)-pie tried-and-true classics and more inventive fare.
The book starts out with basic recipes for Gena’s favorite cannot-live-without recipes (think: green smoothie, chia pudding, kale salad, almond milk and cashew cheese) then offers more gourmet, creative twists on classic vegan food like a creamy maple chiptle dressing, curried sweet potato hummus, sweet pea hummus tartines with sunflower sprouts or an apricot quinoa and mint salad. There’s a balance of easy-as-(cashew)-pie tried-and-true classics and more inventive fare. Gena comes from an editing background, but also holds a degree in nutrition, giving her the perfect balance of food writing and medicine where food is medicine. In Choosing Raw, nutrition is very important, but pleasure is always on the menu. It’s a truly realistic approach to living la vie de raw, which usually means, as is the case for Gena herself, not living 100% raw, but instead incorporating raw food into our lives little by little
This is a timeless classic that will be relevant years from now as a pionnering lesson on healthy living.
Note: This is not a diet book. It’s not about a quick fix, a cleanse or a fad like so many other books out there. Instead, this is a timeless classic that will be relevant years from now as a pionnering lesson on healthy living. No counting calories. Only counting the hours until your next delicious meal à la Choosing Raw!
Rebecca Leffler is a writer, journalist and wellness consultant. She is the author of best-selling French book Green, Glam & Gourmande and follow-up title Green, Glam & Happy. Her book “Très green, très clean, très chic: Eat (and live!) the new French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season” was released in 2015. Follow Rebecca at Lafleurparisny.com.