Food

What is going Raw?

Raw Spring Rolls: Zucchini, lettuce, carrots, red bell peppers and jicama.

Sure, you might feel like you’re being healthy when you order a nutritious salad (meaning: not a pile of iceberg lettuce saturated in creamy, fatty dressing, but actually vegetables), but would you want to commit to eating all raw food, all the time? The raw food movement, sometimes called the Live Food movement, is focused on eating only raw and unprocessed foods, often organically grown. Although many are only familiar with the vegan version of this movement, there are vegetarians (lacto-ovo and others), as well as omnivores who participate. A smaller component of the movement actually promotes a carnivorous (only animal product) diet. Similarly, fruitarians- those who try to only eat fruit- are a part of the raw food movement.

One of the main tenets of the belief that raw food is better lies in the loss of nutrients through cooking or processing food. While this is certainly true to a very large degree, it does not hold across the board. A more holistic approach might be to look at each food individually to determine whether it should be eaten raw, slightly cooked, or thoroughly cooked. As with most things in life, knowledge is power.

For some foods, scientists have discovered that light steaming actually makes nutrients available in food that the body would not otherwise be able to digest- broccoli is one such food. If the focus is truly bio-availability, then knowing that the nutrients in spinach are most readily absorbed by the body when it is lightly steamed and eaten with vinegar makes it hard to argue for eating spinach raw. With both of these foods, overcooking leads to a loss of nutrients, so attention paid to each individual food will allow you to gain the most nutrients from them. Likewise, freezing blueberries unlocks many of their antioxidant properties – increasing their health benefits, which is what exploring healthy diets is all about.

So, is raw right for everyone? Probably not. Is raw right for you? Maybe….you never really know until you try it. What it all boils down to is bioindividuality. What works wonders for one person may not for the next. You simply have to experiment to find out.
Food

For Love of an Avocado

Delicious avocado

Oh dear sweet avocado. I love this little fruit. The Hubs and I have an avocado plant at home (Avi). Avi is 3 years old and grown from seed by his grandmother. We’re hoping by this summer Avi will start producing delicious fruit for us to enjoy! So, allow me to go on a little about this beautiful fruit.

Besides its subtle, sweet flavor and silky texture, one virtue of the avocado is that only one-sixth of it’s fat is saturated, which is a much smaller portion than in meats, butter, cheese or even sour cream. The texture of a ripe avocado is actually a lot like butter. If you have a ripe avocado hanging around and you’re guacamole’d out, try using it instead of butter on your morning toast or bagel with a slice of tomato! You can also try avocado instead of cheese on your lunch sandwich. Try sprouted grains bread with tomato, watercress and avocado (add some turkey if you roll with the animal protein).
Avocado is also fabulous in salads!! My friend Missy (who is raw and fabulous) gave me this kale and avocado salad recipe during my first Vegan challenge, 3 years ago. It blew my taste buds away. Try it!!
Kale Salad
a head kale (any variety), shredded
1 cup tomato, diced
1 cup avocado, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenneIn a mixing bowl toss all ingredients together, squeezing as you mix to wilt the kale and cream the avocado. Dig in and squeeze it with your hands…I think food tastes so much better when you play with it first. 😉
Food

Healthy Kickstart – Going Raw

Since my yearly vegan challenge slipped my mind, I’m upping my ante. I am going raw to detox and kickstart my bridal health goals.

Today is DAY 1.

For the next 10 days I will be drinking deliciously fresh juices and for the 18 days following that I will be only consuming raw foods.  I will be getting moral support from Nancy and Jill, and we’ll all get help from Raw Food Rehab.

So what the heck is going raw all about???

Sure, you might feel like you’re being healthy when you order a nutritious salad (meaning: not a pile of iceberg lettuce saturated in creamy, fatty dressing, but actually vegetables), but would you want to commit to eating all raw food, all the time? The raw food movement, sometimes called the Live Food movement, is focused on eating only raw and unprocessed foods, often organically grown. Although many are only familiar with the vegan version of this movement, there are vegetarians (lacto-ovo and others), as well as omnivores who participate. A smaller component of the movement actually promotes a carnivorous (only animal product) diet. Similarly, fruitarians- those who try to only eat fruit- are a part of the raw food movement.

One of the main tenets of the belief that raw food is better lies in the loss of nutrients through cooking or processing food. While this is certainly true to a very large degree, it does not hold across the board. A more holistic approach might be to look at each food individually to determine whether it should be eaten raw, slightly cooked, or thoroughly cooked. As with most things in life, knowledge is power.

For some foods, scientists have discovered that light steaming actually makes nutrients available in food that the body would not otherwise be able to digest- broccoli is one such food. If the focus is truly bio-availability, then knowing that the nutrients in spinach are most readily absorbed by the body when it is lightly steamed and eaten with vinegar makes it hard to argue for eating spinach raw. With both of these foods, overcooking leads to a loss of nutrients, so attention paid to each individual food will allow you to gain the most nutrients from them. Likewise, freezing blueberries unlocks many of their antioxidant properties – increasing their health benefits, which is what exploring healthy diets is all about.

So, is raw right for everyone? Probably not. Is raw right for you? Maybe….you never really know until you try it. What it all boils down to is bioindividuality. What works wonders for one person may not for the next. You simply have to experiment to find out. Is raw right for me? I guess we’re going to find out! Stay tuned for updates on my juice detox and raw foods journey.