What most readers probably took from Quick and
Dirty Clean: Raw ‘Till Dinner Meals for Busy Folks is the knowledge that a diet high in fruits and veggies leads to vibrant health and weight loss; what I took from it was that going low-fat, high raw means getting to eat truckloads of food every day without suffering an ounce of guilt.
If you haven’t met Adria DeCorte of Healthy Vegas Vegan, she’s the badass babe who recently published this bright, colorful and no-nonsense cookbook. She lives in Las Vegas—known more for “guilt-free indulgence than living a balanced life”—and even in this environment, manages to not only get by, but to thrive on a low-fat, high raw vegan diet.
To show how approachable and non-terrifying this way of eating can be, Adria created Quick and Clean–a guide that can be used to jumpstart a low-fat, high raw lifestyle, or that can simply inspire you to (creatively!) squeeze a few more fresh fruits and veggies into your current lifestyle. The featured breakfast and dessert recipes are fully raw, the lunch recipes mostly raw, and the dinners cooked (using only whole foods and minimal spices/preparation steps).
Quick and Clean totally debunks the (depressingly still-too-popular) myth that meal-skipping or subsistence on half a cup of lettuce each day are required to achieve a healthy weight. These meals provide plenty of food throughout the week, easily supply adequate nutrition requirements, and are still only around 400-500 calories apiece.
To give a few examples, one of Adria’s breakfasts is an Apple Pie Bowl (yum) that includes three apples, two bananas and a few spices. That’s five (five!) pieces of fruit in just one sitting. Another high-yield recipe her Southwestern Salad, which packs in half a head of lettuce, a full cup of black beans, a full cup of tomatoes, an ear of corn, a generous helping of avocado and half a cup of salsa. Seriously, look at the size of this thing!
Images courtesy of Healthy Vegas Vegan
I mean, we’re talking an entire lunch-tray-sized salad here. Plus, the whole thing clocks in at just over 500 calories, packing in a hefty 25 grams of protein.
The recipes outlined in Quick and Clean actually include tons of measurable nutrition information, which is a big help for the number-lovers; what I found even more reassuring, though, is Adria’s focus on listening to your body to see what works best for you—not adding unnecessary stress to your life by setting rigid restrictions on what you “can” and “can’t” eat. Will I, for example, ever go low-fat, high raw for extended periods of time? Very unlikely. But am I inspired after reading this book to increase the amount of fruit- and vegetable-based meals I eat during the week, rather than rely on oatmeal and peanut butter when I’m feeling too lazy to turn on the stove? Absolutely.
It’s this kind of “see what works for you” standpoint Adria takes that, to me, makes this book so worthwhile. She doesn’t say “Here’s the meal plan—follow it or get out.” She simply introduces focusing on eating mainly raw fruits and vegetables as a useful tool, emphasizing an increase in nutrition, a decrease in body fat and boosted creativity in the kitchen as benefits.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to treat myself to an Apple Pie Bowl.