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Europe in The RAW 2011 ~ Amsterdam

Friday, September 16, 2011

As if this town was a continuum of Copenhagen (no offense to anyone living in either of these lovely places), my first impression was that it would be my new favorite! Its beauty, its charming city center with the canals and the sinking buildings, its wildlife, and the kind people are hard to not fall in love with. The only part that was hard was finding raw or even vegan restaurants in the city.

Raw Food In Amsterdam
We only had a couple of days and after breakfast we headed to the city to see as much of it as possible. I made a big mistake by not bringing food with me! There are many juice bars where you can get wheatgrass shots and some raw brownie bars (I got a Pulsin‘ RAW CHOC Brownie) and the second day we found organic grocery stores too but other than that we were out of luck. The nicest “bio” supermarket is BioMarkt, I wish we had known about it the first day. We stayed a few miles from the center near a mall where there’s an all-organic, mini grocery store.
They carry a good amount of produce and some raw chocolate. It was nice to have the opportunity to stock up 
Raw Choc: rich, soft, and delicious brownie 
for breakfast and to try some new chocolate, such as the Lovechock’s cacao nib bar.

Lovechock Is Almost Too Rich

Inside BioMarkt

BioMarkt Review
This little market is an organic grocer that even has a raw section with crackers, superfoods, nuts and seeds, and a raw deli case full of desserts that will surely satisfy your needs whatever special diet you may follow. We got some produce and some dessert. I didn’t even feel like sweets but we were leaving the next morning so that was my only chance and look at this case!

The Amazing Dessert Case at BioMarkt

Gula Java Magic Chocolate Pie

Half of the desserts were raw vegan such as cakes, brownie bars, and truffles. I decided to try the Gula Java Magic Chocolate Pie. I know it looks a little imperfect but if you consider that I carried it around for a day in my purse, it held up pretty well, right? 
Ready for the ingredients? It was created using:
Almonds, buckwheat, coconut oil, avocado, dates, cacao powder, Gula Java coconut blossom sugar, camu camu, and salt. It’s quite something, isn’t it? Besides, it was my frirst time eating camu camu. It was creamy and yummylicious with a crunchy sprinkle of coconut sugar on top (that’s melted by the time I got to it after going around town).
Chocolate Explosion Pie

I also got a slice of their Chocolate Explosion Pie, which was more like a very rich and filling cake full of nuts and goji berries. This one was made of dates, coconut, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, avocado, agave syrup, cacao powder, acai, cranberries, goji berries, and camu camu. Believe it or not, I ate them all at once, while on the plane, the next day for lunch! It was a chocolaty day!

Miserable Cooked Food Experience After Months of 100% Raw

And here comes the most
disappointing part of this vacation. We always have a choice to eat raw and even if we don’t we have the option to fast. Over the years my husband and I went to two different restaurants all the time when we went out. One would eat at one while the other just sat there to keep company and vice versa. The reason for it is that he ate meat when I met him, later gave up meat and decided to stick with fish only, then turned vegetarian, and finally vegan. Since I had been a vegan macrobiotic all along and now a raw foodie, my diet has always been more restricted. This time, I could have opted for fresh fruit or juice that’s not organic but I really didn’t like the idea and after spending hours looking for an organic (at least) vegan place with some salads, where we could both eat, and not finding anything, I said to him: “You decide, and I’ll go eat whatever (as long as it’s vegan and not fried food).” And so I did. I joined him for a, by that time, dinner instead of lunch at an Indian restaurant. It was the most expensive Indian food we ever had in our lives, one of the best too, but


extremely salty for me, not surprisingly, and we enjoyed our time. Only later that evening and especially the next day did I realize how sick it made me feel. I was not 100% sure that it was due to eating cooked food initially but I felt horrible feverish, suffered from inflammation, and it felt as if I had the flu. Only after I was back to raw foods the next day and felt normal again did I know that it was the cooked food! There’s no other reason

why I would feel so sick and then bounce back so fast as if nothing had
happened. The following few days were a roller coaster since I “had to" have a few more cooked meals. Every single time I did I ended up feeling very sick and bloated and every time I went back to raw foods I was fine all of a sudden. On one hand I regret horribly, because it was so awful to not feel my best. On the other hand, it was the greatest experiment ever. I never believe what I read/hear, instead, I like to test things and see if they work or they don’t. This experiment was not planned but
what I had heard all along is proven to be true: once you’re raw, it hurts to eat cooked (at least very often).
You may follow your heart, have fun if you want to socialize or you are on vacation and the circumstances are not the most ideal, even at the cost of giving up raw foods. It will probably not feel good but may be worth it and you can go back to your raw breakfast the next morning.
My conclusion: My stomach is still recovering from the experience and I have awful cravings and am constantly hungry. Unbelievable as it is, I feel a little worse I felt the first few days of switching to 100% raw. My body is really confused and

doesn’t even know what it wants. It’s a terrible feeling but I hope it will be just a few more days. I’m sharing this experience for two reasons:
1 - you know what to expect (although everyone is different) if you choose cooked food one day.
2 – I wonder if you’ve had the same experience? How were you affected by cooked food?

Look at the rest of the beauty of this town! I couldn’t get enough of walking down its charming streets and along canals. Feeding and photographing swans and ducks, walking through the greenest parks, looking at boat homes, were just never-ending fun spent with my husband!  I could honestly move here too, I would just have to open a raw restaurant! ; )
But first, we’re off to London, our last stop of this Euro-tour.

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