So I thought it would be helpful to share a little of my experiences in finding good places to eat raw food along my travels.
Of course, like any sensible raw foodist, I went well-prepared: stocked up with plenty of fruit and veg, and even some raw juices and smoothies which I’d pre-made and frozen before setting off.
It turns out I didn’t need to be quite SO well-prepared though, as even before we’d got our first ferry we found ourselves at The Green Welly in Tyndrum. This is a smashing stop-off point that you’re sure to come across if you’re travelling around Scotland as it’s situated on the A82 in the middle of Loch Lomond, Fort William, Perth, and of course Oban, which was where we were headed.
It sells fuel, food and gifts, and is always surrounded by swarms of friendly bikers. Make your way to the back of the shop (avert your eyes from the home-made brownies! Resist, resist!!) to the chilled section and you will see a nice little selection of fresh fruit and juices. Proper freshly-squeezed orange juice no less – none of that pasteurised nonsense! I got some Scottish strawberries for my lunch on the ferry.
The journey from Oban to Uist takes around 6 hours, and the café on the ferry isn’t exactly bursting with rawness, so it’s a good idea to bring your own food. I was glad of my strawberries, they went nicely with my flask of green juice, sat out in the sunshine watching the waves go by.
Once we got to Uist we set up our tent in a lovely little campsite right by a gorgeous white sand beach (the first of many!). I gathered up some wild edibles and made some tasty warming herbal tea on our little camping stove (I may be a raw foodie but like any typical Brit I’m never giving up my tea, no way!).
Here are a couple of places I’ve heard of that you might like to try if you’re hunting for some quality fresh produce while you’re in Uist:
The Big Garden http://biggarden.scot/the-big-garden/
Beautiful kitchen garden on South Uist, right by the beach, which grows and sells a variety of fresh seasonal produce.
MacLennans Supermarket http://www.maclennanssupermarket.co.uk/
Family-owned shop in Benbecula selling fresh produce.
Our next stop was the Isle of Harris, where we visited the stunning Luskentyre beach. This beach was voted best beach in Britain, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s completely breathtaking. I happened to stroll by the set of a music video which was being made, so I sat and watched while a girl in a long white dress walked straight into the sea until she was completely immersed in the water, cameras hovering above. I felt really sorry for her as the wind was really biting despite the bright sunshine – she must have been freezing!
Like I say, the Outer Hebrides aren’t exactly well-equipped for raw foodists, but camping out there was a nice experience for me as it made me really simplify my diet. I did a lot of mono-eating during this trip (mono-eating = eating one food at a time as opposed to mixing them up in a meal/recipe) as it just seemed to suit the simplicity of it all; sitting on the ground outside our little tent, surrounded by the raw beauty of the islands.
I must say that Uig Sands on the Isle of Lewis was the absolute highlight of the trip for me. We camped on the beach up in the sand dunes and had a little spot all to ourselves. We lit a little campfire and sat back and enjoyed a spectacular sunset over the turquoise water – it was pure heaven.
While on Lewis, the Callanish Stones are not to be missed – they are undoubtedly one of the most magical places in Scotland.
I visited Stornaway Farmer’s Market to stock up on some lovely fresh produce mid-way through the trip. I got some lovely yellow courgettes amongst other things. Their stuff is super-fresh; most of it is picked within 24 hours of it going on sale. Get there early in the morning before it sells out!
When we got back on the mainland we stopped by Smoo Cave in Durness – well worth checking out on your way from Ullapool up to the Orkney ferry.
While on the mainland we also squeezed in a quick stop to Thurso and a visit to Carrots health food store to stock up on supplies.
After getting into Orkney on the ferry we headed into Kirkwall, where we stayed at the Pickaquoy Centre campsite. Compared to our wild camping in Lewis, this felt practically like a 5 star hotel, with its heated shower complex, kitchen and lounge area and wifi. It was also very handy for the ferry and close to town too. There was even an option to use the spa and swimming pool at the centre – luxury!
If you’re in Kirkwall at the right time you might catch the farmer’s market in Orkney, it’s held on the last Saturday of each month. Here is some more info: http://orkneyfarmersmarket.weebly.com/
We popped into the Real food café in Kirkwall for lunch. In terms of rawfood, it only really provided salads, but it had such a lovely atmosphere that I thought it was worth a mention.
We travelled around Orkney, staying at the Birsay Outdoor Centre and the gorgeous Wheems Organic Farm, where we had some fantastic hot sunny weather. The handy thing about staying at Wheems was that they sold their own organic veg on site.
Stromness was a cute little town to visit, and we found a lovely health food store there that sold a great range of goods including raw chocolate, seaweed, and herbs.
While in Orkney we visited some fantastic places, including the spectacular Ring of Brodgar 5000 year old standing stones, the beautiful Italian Chapel, and the fascinating Neolithic settlement of Scara Brae.
Orkney is quite a mission to get to, but once you get there you won’t regret it.
Have you been to Orkney or the Outer Hebrides? If so, leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Did you find any great places for raw and healthy food?
Lisa Murphy has followed a rawfood diet since 2003. She is also a counsellor, hypnotherapist and coach who specialises in healthy eating, weight loss and anxiety. For more details of Lisa's therapies and courses please visit www.CherryTherapies.com