Sometimes I need to step out of my comfort zone to be fully inspired. As much as I love cooked vegan foods like KimChi Fried Rice Balls, Not Yo’ Mama’s Meatloaf or Tortilla Chip Queso Casserole,there’s always room for more raw foods in my life. My partner in crime for all things health & wellness,Alison,was up for an adventure, so we hit the road for the Raw Living Expo in Sedona,AZ.
The energy vortex in Sedona is off the charts. We grabbed a juice and were ready to immerse ourselves in all things raw for the weekend.
ChocolaTree had a cafe set up inside the exhibition hall, so we got refueled there when the little samples from the chef demos didn’t quite satiate.
I have not yet arrived at the place where I feel satisfied after eating a mono meal of bananas. But I’m willing to baby-step my way there by starting with some of the more “gourmet” raw foods,like the ones demonstrated over the weekend.
The first demo we watched was Lisa Books-Williams sharing a green smoothie recipe and this fantastic Land and Sea Salad. It seemed like a whole lotta chopping, but the end result was well worth the effort.
My resistance to raw food preparation has been mostly due to the fact that you need a dehydrator for a lot of recipes. I ask myself if I really need one more piece of kitchen equipment and the voice in my head screams “NO!” until I taste this Tamale Spiral. The wrap is made from nuts,seeds and corn (or substitute yellow bell pepper if your preference is corn-free) and the “meat” is made from carrot pulp. Topped with a savory sun-dried tomato enchilada sauce and sour cream made from Young Thai coconut meat , I could eat this every week. I guess I need to figure out which spot on my counter will be the new home for a dehydrator.
After a full day of demos,workshops and lectures, I was starv-ing-Guh! We headed to ChocolaTree Cafe and Organic Oasis so I could fill my belly and pick up some goodies for the ride home. The atmosphere of the cafe is relaxed and the food is delicious. I ordered the Carrot Ginger soup, which is raw and served cold, along with a hearty Sedona 2012 wrap full of cooked veggies and quinoa.
Since it was dark and cold by the time we got there, we sat inside. During warmer weather,enjoy the patio and garden in the back. I didn’t have the opportunity to take photos of the garden on this trip but you can check out the view in the video from my last visit.
It’s impossible to stop into ChocolaTree without being mesmerized by the case of chocolates. Get ready for a full mouth foodgasm when you let one of these morsels melt on your tongue. The coconut creme cups are ridiculously divine but the maca butterfly is definitely a close runner-up.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I will choose savory snacks over sweet any day. ChocolaTree’s Nori Nachos became an instant favorite when I tried them on my last trip to Sedona, so I was excited to stock up. The Just Pure Foods snacks had been in one of my VeganCuts snack boxes, so I grabbed some of those from the Expo.
The list of speakers at the Raw Living Expo was impressive: Jeffrey Smith,Dr. Robert Young,Rabbi Gabriel Cousins,Nina Curtis,Dan McDonald and Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram were some of the inspiring presenters whose message really hit my chart. It’s a lot of information to process in one weekend but it’s marinating in my brain for sure. One of the things that I noticed about each of the speakers, is that they really came from a place of abundance and used vocabulary that made everyone feel welcome,no matter what starting point we arrived from.
I’m excited to see how the Raw Living Expo grows and evolves. If you’re curious about going fully raw or just want to dabble in getting more raw fruits and vegetables into your diet, I would highly recommend attending this event.
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