superfoods raw food course review

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-11-10 13:25

I recently attended the Superfoods Elements of Health Raw Food Course after wanting to do it for some time. We've been juicing, sprouting, and making smoothies, on and off for a while now, but I was interested in taking it to a new level, and to see whether we can add more variety and interest to what we eat. There is after all only so much one can do with muesli, surely...

The course is not a cooking course, but rather an introduction to a whole new approach to doing food. If you have an interest in nutrition, want to improve your health, and still eat delicious food then this is the course for you. In short it is a mind expanding, consciousness altering kind of course - it will change the way you think about food. Peter and Beryn's positivity and passion for their subject is infectious, and because everyone attending the course has a shared interest, it makes for a great weekend of learning and interaction.

The raw food course strikes a good balance between theory, demonstration and consumption. You unfortunately don't get to don aprons and chop things up yourself as there is not enough time for this level of participation. But you do get to watch Peter and Beryn show you just how to put a juicer, blender and dehydrator through it's paces and they give you practical hints and tips along the way.

Your taste buds will tingle as you get to sample all types of exotic ingredients (goji berries, cacao beans, maca powder, hemp seed powder), as well as some locally foraged delights (aloe ferox, loquats, spring water from newlands). The quality of ingredients is emphasised, with a focus on those foods that provide ultra high levels of beneficial substances - super foods. Supporting the organic food movement and growing your own is also encouraged.

I initially had concerns about the cost of the equipment and the ingredients involved in pursuing a raw food diet superfood-style, but if you think of what you will be saving in health bills in the long run, it makes sense to make an investment like this in your health. What you could spend on two takeaway pizza's a month, will over a year, pay for a dehydrator which you could use to make raw food pizza's which are more delicious and infinitely more healthy than an industrial pizza!

The course format.
The course spans two days over a weekend, starting at 10 in the morning and running through until around 5 or 6 in the evening. There were around twenty or so participants on my course. There are two lecture sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, on each day. These are broken up by demonstrations on how to prepare the recipes. And of course there are breaks to sample the delicious fare.

The content.
I expected the raw food preparations and plenty of good eating, which were both Wow! But the lectures about why you would want to eat raw were surprisingly informative and very enjoyable. Peter is knowledgeable, passionate and able to communicate the raw food message very effectively but without being evangelical or over zealous in a way that alienates you. The course content challenges traditional thinking on what we eat and provides compelling reasons to want to change your food lifestyle to a healthstyle. I was also impressed by the positive vibe and the use of meditative text and music to set the tone for each lecture. There is a lot of content, even for someone who thinks he knows a fair amount about food, and at times I felt a bit overloaded. However a 70-page manual is provided so you can refer back to your notes. I would also suggest supplementary note taking, as there is such a lot that Peter and Beryn impart, that you want to hold on to.

The recipes.
The recipe list provided was nine pages long and covered all the meals and juices that were prepared for us on the course, as well as few additional ones we didn't get to sample - three menu's covering fifteen recipes in total. I would have liked to receive more recipes with the course, but additional recipes are forwarded to you as part of a follow up programme via email. The recipes were all very tasty and there were a lot of favourites, some that stood out for me:
Pesto mushrooms - mushrooms dehydrated in olive oil and tamari sauce filled with coriander and basil pesto
Creamy courgette pasta - no pasta, made from raw courgettes, yet its impossibly tasty! secret's in the cashew nut sauce.
Raw cacao chocolate mousse tart - chocolate mousse tart that's absolutely yummy and good for you!
Gourmet raw pizza - base using red onions, flax & sunflower seeds, tamari & olive oil. The reason I'll be buying a dehydrator.
Salad sushi wraps - I love sushi. An added bonus of this course was that I now know how to make my own.

Support.
The nice thing about this course is that a radical approach to going raw is not encouraged. Rather you are motivated to make changes to your diet slowly, one step at a time. As part of the course you get to join a 3 month follow up email support program which introduces new recipes every week and also motivates you to change your eating habits.

In a nutshell, I'd recommend this course to anyone who not only has an interest in healthy eating, but who also wants to eat delicious food. This course could be transformational for you as you realise that we truly are what we eat. It exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high, and I'm enjoying incorporating the changes into the way I eat.

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