If the thought of a raw-food diet conjures up images of bland greens and handfuls of nuts and seeds, then it may be time to re-imagine the possibilities of raw food.
"Not many people can envision the raw-food diet; they think of apples or raw meat," said Monika Kinsman, founder and CEO of Thrive, a vegetarian restaurant in Seattle that aims to make raw food accessible.
Raw-vegan-food diets are based on the belief that plant food in its natural state contains the most nutrition for human bodies. Raw-food proponents believe that cooking with temperatures higher than 118 degrees breaks down food enzymes, which are essential for digestion.
"The whole idea of raw food implies giving up flavor, which is the biggest misconception," said Larisa Goldin, who eats meat about twice a week and is a Thrive customer.
But the possibilities are bountiful, with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs dehydrated, marinated, blended and juiced into such tantalizing dishes as coconut curry and a chilled mushroom miso soup.