Arts & Culture Food & Spirits

Raw In Ten Minutes – Raw Food for the Rest of Us

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Though the names and rules may change, all fad diets share one characteristic: they fail to address basic nutritional needs, thus leaving you worse off than before. Anyone looking for a true alternative will have to make a long-term commitment to health, one that doesn’t promise instant results. That breakthrough may involve the raw food revolution as practiced by Bryan Au, best-selling author of “Raw in Ten Minutes” and chef at Pa~Raw~Dise, a 100% raw organic vegan restaurant in San Francisco, with a location in Hollywood opening soon and branches in Chicago and Maui to follow.

Members of the Hollywood elite have been vocal proponents of the vegetarian lifestyle, but a number of superstars have stepped up their allegiance to the dietary program, opting for raw organic vegan cuisine to improve all aspects of their health: body, skin, and spirit.Alicia_Silverstone.jpg Demi Moore famously went raw for her eye-popping return to the big screen in Charlie’s Angels 2, while Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone sing its praises too.

A diverse range of studies has shown that a raw food diet can lead to improved health, but common sense tells us a lot of what we need to know. A diet low in red meat, animal products, and processed food items has been linked to decreased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. And even the healthiest, most vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables lose a significant share of nutrients when cooked, boiled, grilled, or roasted–any process where the heat can break down the enzymes that help digestion. The raw food diet addresses all of these concerns.

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But how does the food taste? This is where Bryan Au, a one-man raw food cheerleading squad, comes in. With a book, a DVD, a restaurant, a catering service–all of which have drawn devoted fans–and ambitious expansion plans, Au wants to take raw food to the masses, with the assurance that the gourmet creations are just as scrumptious as their cooked counterparts.

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The intrigue begins with a peek at the menu at his Pa~Raw~Dise restaurant. Start with a delicious soup or a baby spring salad, then move on to the improbable entrees. Manicotti, lasagna, and pasta alfredo? How about super nachos or pad thai? Take your pick! But no meal is complete without dessert, and at Pa~Raw~Dise, you can feast healthily on decadent treats such as baklava, chocolate mousse, and assorted sorbets and ice creams. You’ll be amazed by the ingredients, the presentation, and the taste, while your body will simply enjoy the healthful benefits.

Bryan_Au.jpgFor those who can’t make it to San Francisco or simply want to make these dishes in their own kitchen, Au’s book “Raw in Ten Minutes” lets you bring home his techniques and recipes. Working with Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Au conducted extensive research to create and optimize the recipes for their curative and preventative properties. The results: delicious concoctions that take less than ten minutes to prepare. Better yet, the only special equipment you’ll need is a blender–no dehydrating, no fuss.

Au’s dedication to the raw food movement extends beyond his commercial ventures. A member of the honorary committee for PETA’s 25th anniversary gala, he has also catered an event for the activist group. And at the foundation of his passion for raw food, he notes that movement conserves precious natural resources, on top of its restorative benefits.

So put down that grapefruit and turn off those infomercials. The raw food movement isn’t telling you anything you don’t already know: the best food is natural, fresh food, without preservatives or chemicals. But now you can dig into satisfying, varied meals that you can whip up yourself at your convenience. Bryan Au’s “Raw in Ten Minutes” and Pa~Raw~Dise restaurant are perfect for turning beginners into believers. What do you have to lose, besides the pounds and the preconceptions?

If you are interested in being an investor, contact Bryan Au at www.rawinten.com

About the author

Jane Emery