The popularity of vegan and flexitarian diets is constantly growing. There is no doubt about it.
In 2020 every major UK supermarket, including Tesco, Morrisons and Asda, had its own vegan range.
Food chains such as McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King continue to introduce more plant-based alternatives to their popular dishes to their menus.
And according to research by The Vegan Society, one in five Brits incorporated vegan dishes and desserts into their Christmas dinner in 2021.
In addition, since 2014 millions of participants have taken part in the Veganuary Challenge which involves people eating only vegan foods for the entire month of January in an effort to promote health, protect the environment and end animal farming.
Antonia Sinclair Gray and Caroline Snow, from Inverness, have backed the vegan revolution for some time.
Antonia, 49, who trained in Eastbourne as an advanced cordon bleu chef with distinction, is currently following a 70/30 raw diet.
Caroline, 57, ran a vegan B&B in Sutherland which at the time was the only vegan B&B in Scotland.
Raw, Kitsch ‘n’ Groovy
The pair recently joined forces to launch their own vegan food brand, Raw, Kitsch ‘n’ Groovy, with Antonia as the chef and Caroline in charge of bookwork and promotion.
Antonia has dreamt of running a raw food business for a number of years, while Caroline has been eager to start a vegan delicatessen.
Over time the friends shared ideas and formulated the plan for Raw, Kitsch ‘n’ Groovy, using one another’s skill sets to support their dreams.
Caroline said: “Antonia and I are aiming to bring more raw food to the Highlands.
“We believe that living foods are the ultimate contribution to going green for the world’s environment and that it is the addition of living foods in our overall diet that are the best way to eat for our health and wellness.
“We know that vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibre and the pure energy that comes from within raw living food can heal and detoxify the body.”
Caroline and Antonia will offer an exciting menu of raw living foods and dishes which they plan to deliver from a food van across the Highlands.
This includes raw chocolate that can be used in a variety of puddings, including truffles, as well as courgette linguine.
“Raw food isn’t just about salads,” Caroline added. “Some foods are dehydrated to make breads, crackers, biscuits, crispy vegetables and even pastry.”
Raw food diet history
In the 1800s Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner discovered he could cure his own jaundice by eating raw apples, which began a series of experiments testing the benefits and effects of raw living foods on human health.
There is a well-known popular breakfast called the apple bircher, made with muesli, raw apples and sprouted almond cream.
The diet has continued to evolve ever since.
Antonia said: “Our species hasn’t adapted well in the last seventy years to eating wheat and dairy, which first happened about ten thousand years ago, with many people developing allergies and intolerances due to growth hormones and pesticides.
“So, take things back to basics for the best possible nutrition and health eat whole, wild and organic raw plants.
“It doesn’t have to be about eating raw 100% of the time as this would be unsustainable for most of us.”
Raw foods include nut butters, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more.
Raw food is never heated to a temperature of over 47C/118F so that useful minerals, vitamins and enzymes are not destroyed.
Most dieticians agree that a 70% raw to 30% cooked ratio is the optimum for good health.
What raw foods to consume and avoid
In terms of the best raw food to opt for, Caroline says: “Green cruciferous vegetables, fermented foods (which are probiotic-rich) and living sprouts are among them.
“Alfalfa sprouts are the most nutrient dense food that you can eat. Even in the winter months, sprouts are easy to grow on the windowsill.
“Antonia and I can’t think of any organic raw foods to avoid but we would like to encourage everyone to consider buying non gmo, pesticide ridden foods, especially strawberries and carrots as these are but a couple of the most treated and sprayed crops.”
While consuming more raw foods can help prevent and relieve a variety of health problems, you will also enjoy:
- Increased energy levels
- Clear skin and eyes
- Weight loss
- Improved digestion
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved intestinal microbial balance
- The peace of mind that no lives were taken for your meals
- The knowledge that a plant-based diet is better for the planet
Although, the business owners emphasised that people must remember that each individual’s body reacts differently to different foods.
Following a 70/30 raw diet, Antonia has experienced increased energy levels, clear eyes, clear skin, a clearer mind and better health.
Antonia and Caroline are hoping to purchase a vehicle soon to grow Raw, Kitsch ‘n’ Groovy, travelling to towns and villages delivering produce each week as well as attending food fayres, festivals and events.
Their ultimate goal is to have premises but in the meantime will be exploring pop-up events when Covid is more contained.
For more information, visit Raw, Kitsch ‘n’ Groovy on Facebook.