Welcome, everyone, to Choosing Raw! Thanks for reading. Over the course of the past year, I’ve been inspired by many wonderful food and lifestyle blogs to chronicle my experience as a vegan raw foods lover living in the Big Apple. I hope you’ll find what I have to say intriguing.

There is a tremendous amount of curiosity—especially among the health conscious—about raw foods: what they are, why people eat them, and, most importantly, how someone can enjoy raw foods without becoming a 100% raw foodist. I hope to offer some insight into all of these issues. My periodic musings should give you a sense of why I’ve personally chosen to eat raw foods; for a more detailed account, check out “my journey” in the About Me tab. There’s a widespread conception that living raw must be incredibly time consuming and socially isolating; I hope that I can do my part to dispel this idea. It’s true that enjoying raw foods requires a certain amount of foresight and energy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, I find that my lifestyle affords me more simplicity and freedom than I ever experienced before.

My goal with Choosing Raw—aside from showing you all how great living raw can be!—is to create fun conversations between readers of all dietary philosophies: raw, non-raw, vegan, and omnivore. I’ll be including guests posts and interviews with foodies and bloggers of every persuasion. I want to build a bridge between the vegan and omnivore communities, and to foster some genuine curiosity about others’ dietary choices. If I can inspire you to eat raw more often, great. If all you take away from the blog is a sense of what the raw world is like—regardless of whether or not it interests you—that’s great, too.

Finally, I hope to inspire young women to be proud of what they eat and how they eat. Plant based eaters are often called upon to justify their lifestyle to friends, family, and acquaintances who don’t understand it. This demands confidence and self-assurance. I want to encourage all readers to embrace a sense of pride in the healthy choices they’re making each and every day. Our bodies are ours to nourish as we see fit.

It took me a while to gather the courage to blog, and I want to thank the people who pushed me to take the plunge. This includes all of my friends—you guys know who you are—for your cheery encouragement about my new endeavors in the raw world. Thank you to Mom, for your continuing open mind. I know it hasn’t always been easy 🙂

Thank you to Dhru, Philip, and the rest of the NYC raw crew for being my new family, and for so many wonderful late night conversations. Thank you to Kath, Jenna, Jenn, Meghann, Ashley, Lauren, Liz, Lenette, Zestycook, and Heather for your encouragement, inspiration, and tech support. Thank you to Lindsay for always being my vegan soul sistah, and for our many inspiring conversations about food and nutrition.

Thank you to Cassie and Mary for your friendship, your enthusiasm, and for moving me with your passion and energy.

Finally, my biggest thank you is to Fitness Diva Extraordinaire, Melissa. A year ago, Melissa began encouraging me to start a blog, and she kept the pressure on in the many subsequent months when I insisted that I wouldn’t have enough to say. Melissa inspires me with her energy, her commitment to healthy living, her sense of humor, and her desire to make a difference. Melissa, thanks for helping me take the plunge here, and thanks for your friendship.


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  1. Delighted to have discovered your blog, Gena. Speaking of tech support…do you know how I add a photo so that my pic appears in lieu of a trippy looking square? Thanks!

  2. I was just now searching around about this when I came by your post. I’m simply stopping by to say that I truly enjoyed reading this post, it is really well written. Are you going to blog more on this? It appears like there is more fodder here for more posts.

  3. Hi Vani!! So happy to hear from you! I’m adding you to my blogroll RIGHT now. I am delighted that you like the site and hope we’ll be able to chat more!

  4. hi Gena! I sat on the opposite end of the table from you at the nyc blogger brunch – I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk because I used to work for a raw food chef and LOVE raw foods!! I look forward to reading your blog 🙂

  5. Elise,

    I love your blog! Welcome to mine. I truly, truly recommend the Breville JE-95XL. It’s fast, easy to clean, and very efficient. It’s about $150 on Amazon but so, so worth it! People will tell you that it’s lousy with greens, but it’s NOT: just bunch them up to juice them.


    I love your blog, too! And congrats on a vegan challenge! That is tremendous, and I’m so happy you’re giving it a shot. At the very least, you’ll take away some comfort with cooking MORE vegan meals, and that is a HUGE step.


    Thanks! Hope to see you soon 🙂

    Sitcom Surf,

    Terrific blog. I hope you’ll keep me appraised of bands I should be checking out: I’ve been lazy lately! I kind of thought “cooked” sounded worse than “non-raw.” Should I reconsider?


    Thank you so much for checking out the blog! I stupidly misplaced your card, but I hope we’ll connect over tea soon. In fact, I will email you to that effect shortly 🙂 I’m putting you up on my blogroll now…


    Thanks so much for reading. It’s great to have you here. I definitely think that taking steps in the vegan or raw direction is just as good–better, for some people–than going whole hog right away. I really recommend reading the “How to Get Started” tab at the top. As you’ll see, I suggest one raw meal each day. Try making your first raw meal lunch. It is so, so easy to do a big raw salad with a whole avocado for lunch: you can make at home and transport or basically walk into any deli and get one. If you’re still hungry, have some sprouted bread with it. And try a breakfast that’s moving in a raw direction, so to speak, but not raw yet: sprouted grains and nut butters are a PERFECT way to start. I also highly recommend raw granola (or the ezekiel brand of cereal) with almond milk. And smoothies, of course 🙂

    See how far that takes you! And let me know how it’s going.


    You’re the best. The bomb. The greatest. The tops. [Insert every superlative here.] xxoo

  6. I love the blog. I found you via HangryPants and Eat, Live, Run and really appreciate what you’ve got going on here. It was really interesting to ready your post and particularly how actually giving the diet a try made a difference in your life. I also have a breville juicer, though a slightly different model than the one you have and love it as well.

    I think my question would be whether it’s possible to see some of the benefits of the raw lifestyle without going 100% raw. I don’t see myself going 100% raw or 100% vegan, but I’m very open minded and wouldn’t mind incorporating say one raw meal a day. I’ve been reading a lot of raw cookbooks but can’t seem to get any information on just going a bit raw. If you have any insight into that I would be curious. 🙂

  7. Gena,

    Great blog and I loved your post on Jenna’s blog today as well…I’m so happy that you have decided to start your own blog and I cannot wait to follow you along..it was such a pleasure to meet you at the NYC Blogging Brunch…let’s get together soon…

    Looking forward to seeing you.

    The Healthy Apple Blog

  8. Hi Gena,

    Tim here. As a “non-raw” I petition to change our community’s moniker to “cooked.” The “raw” and “cooked” communities. “Non-raw” is a bit like “tree-ware.”

    Here’s a new section for your blog: “What to make for raw people at dinner parties”.

    Lots of love, TB

  9. Hi! I also followed the ‘trail’ over, from Jenna’s blog. I am currently transitioning over to a vegetarian lifestyle, and I find your raw way of living very fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing. Love your blog!

  10. Hi Gena! I saw your guest post on Jenna’s blog and really loved it. Your new blog is GORGEOUS and I can’t wait to keep reading. I’ve been exploring veganism lately and am currently hosting a 30 day challenge on my blog to see if it’s something I want to stick with. I’m really into green smoothies (which will become green juice once I can fork over enough cash to cover the heavy price tag!) and can definitely see how you’ve come to crave them in the mornings. I can’t wait to keep reading more of the wonderful site you have created here!

  11. loved your guest post on jenna’s site…cant wait to read more. what kind of juicer do you recommend? have you had any experience with other kinds than the one you currently use? im thinking of getting one, but am still on the fence (its hard to justify a pricey appliance that wont even fit in my teensy nyc apt)

  12. Wow Gena, you really created a space that is stunningly beautiful and brimming with amazing and abundant, yet absorbable information to help making the world a healthier, more vibrant place. Your effort and the time you spent planning really shows in this flawless debut.

    I really can’t thank you enough for the shout out, I was shocked and very touched. You are such a wonderful friend and I can’t believe the blogging community has existed so long with this fabulous blog.

    I owe you an s and m salad to celebrate!

  13. Gena! Wow I could not have found your blog at a better time:) Next month I am thinking about going kinda RAW, lol..not 100% but I would love to kick the meat and other junk. I eat pretty healthy, the only thing that worries me is how active I am. I am a marathon/triatholon athlete, I know that there are people out there that do it, I am just interested on how!! I am doing a lot of research, and now I can follow your journey as well. Do you mind if I add you to my blogroll?

  14. Gina: I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Thank you so much!

    Laura: You can’t possibly know how much this means to me. Email me ANYTIME with questions.

  15. Welcome! I LOVED reading all the your pages this evening. Honestly, I clicked on every tab and read it all. 🙂 I’ve always been intrigued by raw foods and can’t wait to read more!

  16. i’m SO EXITED about this! my best friend is a raw vegan and i have learned a ton from her, but i’m a “raw food” sponge and can’t wait to keep reading and becoming more knowledgeable about the raw lifestyle.
    welcome to the blog world 😀
    have a great night <3

  17. Ricki! I have loved your blog for a long time now! Thank you so much for the visit 🙂

  18. Hi Gena,

    What a gorgeous blog–I love the layout, colors and banner. Thanks so much for linking to my blog (that’s how I found yours!). And looking forward to seeing what you’ll be posting. 🙂 Welcome to the world of blogging–you will love it!

  19. Hi Kim!!

    They are pricey. But I will say that Bonobo’s, Quintessence, and Caravan of Dreams all have really sweet lunch deals. It’s a great way to get restaurant raw fare at a decent price.

    I would say that sprouted wheat is OK when you’re transitioning: for instance, the sprouted wheat in Ezekiel products. I would suggest you try moving to grains like kamut, spelt, and quinoa when you are ready: they’re slightly easier to digest than wheat is.

    It’s totally normal to crave carbs and/or sugar in the mid-afternoon. I often find myself wanting sweets. It’s often because one is recovering from lunchtime digestion, so blood sugar levels are dropping. You can definitely mitigate this by eating slow digesting carbs at lunch: again, sprouted grains and lots of veggies, rather than regular grains and sweet foods.

    It’s also often boredom: when you’ve been sitting at your desk and it’s 4 PM and you have two hours of work to go, it’s hard not to feel restless, which makes us crave sugar/simple carb highs. Try eating a little dried fruit and nuts, or, better, yet, some veggie sticks. They’ll both sate the hunger AND probably remind you that you’re not quite as hungry as you think.

    Hope this helps!

  20. Great to discover your blog! I too live in NYC. There are a few ‘raw’ restaurants out there (you’ve probably tried some already :P), but I find the prices to be quite high, so I’ve never tried them out yet.

    What’s your take on wheat? Can that be included? Also, instead of cooked oatmeal, how about soaked museli?

    I find that I crave carbs a lot mid-afternoon. Is there reasons to that?


  21. Guys, thank you all so much! It has truly made my day to see your comments. I’m really touched.

    Junghwa, I added you! As a raw food blog. Lovely to meet you.

  22. Hi!
    I still consider myself Raw Vegan time to time. I’ve been a strict raw vegan for a year in 2007 but fell in love with greek yogurt in 2008. I don’t eat greek yogurt daily due to stomach problem so the days that I don’t consume greek yogurt, i definitely follow raw/ vegan diet. I’m totally in love with raw food and also in love with ani’s raw food kitchen book!

    welcome to the blog! and please add me to your blogroll 🙂

  23. Hi Gena,
    This is gorgeous! I can see that you put so much love and energy into this work of art. Thank you for starting this blog 🙂

    I will be a loyal follower 🙂 And, thank you so much for your support of my work. I loved the write up you gave about me in your Raw Foods 101 section. Thank you again and again 🙂


  24. Wow Gena this blog looks great, it’s obvious you put a lot of work into this blog. I’ve loved reading through everything so far and can’t wait to come back and read more!

  25. Wow Gena! Your blog is gorgeous!! 🙂 Thanks for the shout out! I am glad that I could help encourage you to start this blog. I can’t wait to read more about your journey. Best of luck! I am offically a fan!

  26. Great job Gena! I can now stop waiting and start enjoying your posts!

    I love what you said about being proud of what you eat. I am not raw, just meatless and health most of the time and am constantly asked why I eat something. Also, people assume I won’t eat something like a brownie once in awhile, which is equally as annoying as those who pressure me to eat french fries when I want a salad. It must be even more frustrating for a raw foodist.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to reading more of your persective and to the dialogue that develops.

  27. Wow Gena! I am so impressed with your blog! You did an amazingly fantastic job setting everything up. There is already a wealth of information and resources on here that I’m looking forward to exploring – and I can’t wait to follow along as it grows even more. Congratulations!

    P.S. Thanks for the thank you! 🙂

  28. Fabulous, Miss Gena!

    The layout is gorgeous and I can tell you have been putting a lot of thought and effort into your site. I am looking forward to exploring what you’ve already written and seeing what comes next! Thank you for the shout out 🙂 I’m so glad I was able to help in some way!


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