Interview with Boris Lauser
When I went to the Rawfood course with Boris Lauser two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to do an interview with him. Boris is a great guy who really practices Rawfood and has extensive knowledge and experience. I think Boris has a relaxed attitude to food, even if you might think it sounds extreme eating mostly Rawfood. One can only conclude that food is something that we surround ourselves by constantly and continuously, and therefore something that needs to be relaxed and not to feel guilty about. Read the whole interview with Boris below;
How does a typical “Raw” day look like?
I am anywhere in between 70% – 100% raw depending on the day, my mood, my personal feeling and the circumstances. Usually, I stay completely raw during the day, to keep my energy the highest possible.
I start my day with fruit and / or green smoothies. A green smoothie usually contains lots of greens, some of my “Best of Greens-Powder” (you can find it on my website), fruit (berries, oranges, grapefruit, maybe a little banana or avocado), some hemp seeds or coconut oil and almost always, wild herbs. Ideally also some young coconut water, if the Asian Store has them.
My other preferred breakfast is a probiotic homemade yoghurt from either young coconuts, almonds or hand cracked Balinese cashews, topped with lots of fruit, preferably berries.
Chia pudding is my third alternative. It’s a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. And of course, there is my homemade Grawnola with my homemade coconut milk with some fruit.
For lunch, I usually have a BIG salad, with lots of dark leafy greens, wild herbs, topped with cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes. During the wintertime I prefer more of root vegetables. I put avocado or hemp seeds on top with some dulse flakes every other day. The secret is in the dressing. I like to variate with different oils and spices, but currently, my favorite salad dressing is sauerkraut-hemp dressing, cause I can, in a easy way, sneak in healthy probiotics and great omega 3 fatty acids.
If that isn’t substantial enough, I can supplement it with some of my raw breads and crackers that I always have on stock, or I can top the salad with some of my crunchy ginger almonds, yummy 🙂
Evening meals can be both raw or cooked. Raw soups are a great dinner and so are wraps and zucchini spaghetti. Very often I have left overs from my numerous events. However, often I feel like having something more grounding and cooked and I am a big fan of steamed quinoa and some steamed vegetables, all mixed with a raw wild herb pesto! During asparagus season, I have asparagus steamed with raw milk butter twice a week.
Do you ever go out for dinner?
I do love to go out for dinners, to get inspired and socialize. Then it’s usually not raw.
However, I am a quality snob and choose the places carefully. Ideally, I go to places where I know they use organic and local products, and where they use seasonal food and prepare with love and caring. When the quality is right, I can eat anything. I am not about being dogmatically raw, but more for setting a strong foundation and still staying relaxed in my mind and socially. Sometimes, I believe it’s more important to keep an overall balance than following a strict dogma.
What made you start eating raw food?
7 years ago, I went on a business trip to San Francisco and came across Café Gratitude. Immediately after entering the café, I knew I had found my favorite coffee shop. I had never before come across such an amazing energy. I spotted a raw vegan cheesecake in the display and ordered it right away. The first bite convinced me, that there was something amazing to discover – the world of gourmet raw food.
However, since I was 16, I have already been changing my diet, staying off sugar for one year at that age. This changed my whole perception of sweets and food in general. After my studies I moved to Rome and worked for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations with the Italians, and my colleagues told me a lot about food culture and quality of food. I happened to have more and more vegetarian friends and was naturally more and more attracted to fresh foods, fruit, salads and vegetables. So basically, I have been eating lots of fruit for breakfast and big salads for lunch for quite many years. Café Gratitude was only the natural consequence of my ongoing diet.
What are the greatest challenges with the raw food diet or for the people who wants to start with raw food?
I think the biggest challenge at first is the mind. Most people have wrong associations when it comes to raw food, or just changing their diets in general. Change is the biggest challenge. Most people always think about what they will miss and what they have to restrict.
What most people don’t see is that they only gain: in flavor, in variety, in deliciousness as well as in the energy that they get from eating it. In order to go on a more raw oriented diet, I first had to change my perception of eating. I also had to understand that raw food is more nutrient dense than any other food, and therefore I will have to eat much less.
I also have to break with common myths, the biggest being that we need proteins from animal sources, and that it is hard to digest plant protein like soy. This is simply not true. Then people need to break with the idea that healthy food is not tasty or “tastes healthy”.
We are now in times, where we make raw food that is MUCH MORE DELICIOUS than any other common food that we find out there.
NOTE, I am not talking about the highest quality cooked food where people cook their meals at home or when you go to a restaurant where their source of food comes from the local farmers and then being cooked from the heart.
I am talking about what people commonly buy in grocery stores on a daily basis. So, the challenge is to simply change your common habits, your thought patterns and to embrace the concept of healthy eating and instead of missing out on taste or pleasure, actually gain both as well as more energy and health!
The next challenge of course is the changes that are happening in your body. When you are used to a cooked food diet, your enzymes are used to digesting cooked food, and your body is not ready to deal with the increased amount of fibers yet nutrients. In the beginning people will, most likely, face digestion problems and then conclude that raw food is hard to digest and not a diet for them: WRONG! There are two ways to deal with that: Either very slowly (like I did over years) start integrating more and more raw fruit, salad and vegetables into your diet and ease your way into it, or go on a guided juice fast to first cleanse your body completely. There are also digestive enzymes you can take in the beginning to help your body deal with all those fibers. However you do it, I STRONGLY recommend to attend courses and seek guidance. Jumping blindly into a raw food diet with no knowledge, you might make many mistakes without knowing it! I am offering a series of courses and seminars in Germany and worldwide and there are many other people doing so as well! This is a good start and an investment for your health.
What are your top 5 ingredients?
Probiotics, Wild Herbs and dark leafy greens, Young Coconuts, Avocado, Wild Berries
In your experience, what are the most common mistakes people do on a rawfood diet?
Most people tend to jump into a raw food diet not knowing enough about it and not knowing the differences between their previous conventional diet and the newly adopted diet. They tend to have cravings and often satisfy them with overeating of nuts and dried fruit, just because it’s a simple snack. This is definitely not a healthy choice and not at all a healthy replacement, since there are probably more healthy cooked choices like steamed quinoa and vegetables to satisfy such cravings rather than the high fat high sugar combination of nuts and dried fruit.
Another common mistake is that people tend to follow a dogma, the all or nothing approach. Raw food is not about all or nothing, it’s simply about making the choice to eat more nutritiously rich foods and you can integrate them in any way into your already existing diet.
Another common mistake is that people don’t often give it a real chance. People try some raw food for a little while, maybe try to be 100% raw from one day to the next, then have it for 1 week extreme, noticing that they have heavy digestion problems, and conclude that raw food is “hard to digest” and not for them. Then they just go back to their previous diet without understanding that their bodies simply need a lot of time to adjust and start building the enzymes necessary to break down the increased about on fibers and taking care of the nutrients.
What are your favorite top three meals?
A BIIIIIG salad, with lots of dark greens, wild herbs, avocado, sprouts, other vegetables, and an exciting dressing. My new favorite is a sauerkraut-hemp dressing. Another favorite are homemade probiotic coconut yoghurt with fresh fruit or blended as a lassi. Raw root vegetable sushi and spring rolls with ginger almond sauce are other favorites.
What are your three top advise to someone who is new to the Rawfood diet?
1. Take it easy: Start with integrating more raw food into your already existing diet and slowly phase out some of the more unhealthy things. For example, have a croissant for breakfast only every other day and start having lots of fresh fruit for breakfast. Then have a salad with every meal, and start making the salads more nutrient rich by choosing dark organic greens. Slowly slowly increase the amounts of dark leafy greens. Integrate more vegetables in general, switching to having carbohydrates, meat or fish as side dishes. If you want to do it more radically, then do a juice fast under MEDICAL GUIDANCE!!! This might reset your system and you can start eating a lot of raw food sooner.
2. Educate yourself: Take a course to get a good start and get all the information necessary to start into a balanced raw food diet vs. just starting to eat things raw without knowledge about nutrition, digestion and other issues. I offer plenty of classes and intensive seminars like the week long training in Bali and many others, but there are many other good programs and people out there that offer educations as well. Also connect with likeminded people and local groups to be able to share your experiences and to get support.
3. Don’t get hung up and don’t live a dogma, but most importantly, don’t judge others. We live in a world with lots of different live styles and approaches and people are living in countless different ways. Rather then breaking out from the society, live your example and treat everyone with the same respect as you want to be treated.
Don’t judge a meat eater for eating meat or a bad eater for eating junk food. It’s their choice and YOUR problem if you don’t like it 😉 Rawfood is not about separation, it’s simply just another, more nurturing way of eating that will enable you to strive with peak performance.
However, don’t forget about your overall balance. Food is one thing, mental and physical balance is another, so it’s important to work out to stay fit and healthy and to relax and socialize and have healthy relationships. And if you feel like having that Ben & Jerries Ice Cream once a month, then go have it, consciously and enjoy it to the fullest and next morning you’ll have your green juice again and enjoy it so much more. And most probably, after a while of eating the best food, you will not want those conventional “treats” anymore, because you learn what real food tastes like 🙂
b.relaxed – b.enjoying – b.alive!