Time after time, as long as there’s enough sugar in it to feed my cells and not just fill my belly with water, I enjoy eating watermelon more than any other fruit I can get my hands on regularly. There’s something special about sinking a spoon deep into a large, luscious melon and feasting on the shavings and chunks I gently pry out of it. There’s something special about slowly squeezing out the water from large slices of this incredibly hydrating fruit, especially on a sun-splashed day in a large field.
There’s also something pleasurable about making a meal out of a dozen mangos. When my teeth part this fruit’s sweet, juicy “meal,” I relish the flavor and feel a buzz from the experience. Sticky, sloppy hands, yellow mouth and all!
I call this a return to instincts. Never when I consumed animal, cooked and processed foods did my senses heighten, did my body tingle, did my mind slip into ecstasy as they do when I dine on my favorite sweet fruits.
Eating a single food at a time is called eating a monomeal, and eating monomeals is paramount on a low-fat raw food diet. Every species on the planet enjoys monomeals, whether it’s a cow chomping down on grass or fox laying into flesh. Human beings are not only the sole species to cook foods but the only species to prepare lavish recipes. Back in the day, in nature, when we’d spot ripe bananas, we’d stop and eat our fill, not carry them to an apple tree to make a meal of both of these fruits. We provide our bodies proper conditions for optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation when we eat monomeals.
As much as I love smoothies such as Green ‘n’ Clean and MangOranges and salads such as Pizza Salad with Savory Marinara Sauce and Sunflower Seed “Cheese” and Mexican Sun Salad with Creamy Avocado, recipes for which are published in A Taste of Raw Food: 7 Days of Smoothies ‘n’ Salads, I feel as if I’m being truest to my body and the natural world when I feed it monomeals.
I’ve learned over time that my go-to monomeals in the United States—based on availability, enjoyment, caloric density and cost—are bananas, oranges, watermelons, grapes and, to a lesser extent, mangos and peaches. When I traveled to Thailand, I found I could also make meals out of durian and jackfruit, for example. Some of these go-to monomeals become staple foods, which I stock regularly or semi-regularly. Cases of bananas and oranges—as well as multiple heads of lettuce and celery—have become automatic for me weekly.
If you’re new to a raw food diet, pick up yourself a nice watermelon or bag of grapes—and eat the fruit as a meal. Take your time. Enjoy the experience. Lastly, observe how you feel. My guess is you’ll keep coming back for more!