IS A RAW FOOD DIET HEALTHY?
DO WE EAT A LOT OF NUTS AND SEEDS AND IMPORTED FOODS?
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These are great questions and ones that I get asked when making a presentation or doing my classes. I can see how people think that people who eat a high raw diet eat a lot of heavy nuts, seeds, pates, raw desserts and complicated foods because that is what they see on raw food blogs or in raw food recipe books.
I cannot answer for everyone but only speak about my experience and those of some “raw foodies” I know. Remember that very few people who eat a high raw diet eat 100% raw.
When you view raw food blogs and web sites as well as recipe books you will see the gourmet raw food, the fancy desserts and the dehydrated foods containing the nuts, seeds, buckwheat, wheat berries, etc.You hear about lasagna, raw burgers, the cheesecakes which really look incredible!
These foods are featured because they are fun and beautiful! In reality, what we eat is not that glamorous.
I am sure people who do not eat a high raw diet don’t eat gourmet food every day either. In most cases people tend to eat quite simply. We are busy, we don’t have time to prepare elaborate recipes and dishes. Whether we eat high raw or not.
I agree that a diet high in nuts, seeds, dates, flax, buckwheat and agave would not be healthy. It wouldn’t be very balanced either. There are some fantastic raw sauces and dips that contain cashews, pine nuts or macademia nuts that I do love, but I do not consume them everyday or in large quantities.
My meals are actually simple and not that exciting. Although I can come up with some fantastic meals when I have a bit of time to be creative and that usually happens spontaneously when I get a creative burst. Too bad I don’t think about writing down the recipe while I am doing it because some turn out really good!!
I do eat a lot of the same things day after day. I may change it up every 2-3 weeks but in 1 week I could eat the same types of food or dishes over and over again.
There are numerous things you can do with kale, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and spinach. Just working with these fresh ingredients and then adding brown rice, rice pasta, quinoa, seaweed, a raw sauce or pate you can come up with a variety of meals for the week. They can be served cold or warm. Veggies can be raw or cooked. A different sauce or salad dressing can make ingredients taste very different.
In the winters I eat more cooked foods – but simple cooked foods. I saute veggies with greens, garlic, ginger and onions a lot. I make my own soups (hot) and right before I eat a bowl I add a handful of fresh greens such as arugula or kale and stir them in. That is very good by the way!
I make rice noodle soups with greens, bok choy, broccoli, peas and seaweeds quite often. Then add fresh chopped greens when I eat them.
I still love salads, even in the winter, but tend to use more kale, spinach, cabbage and veggies instead of lettuce for my salad. I make all my own dressings but often they are very simple.
I eat citrus fruit with chia gel in the mornings along with a green smoothie with green powders, fresh greens, acerola cherry powder (high in vitamin C), chlorella tablets, green protein (consisting of green algae), wheat grass powder, hemp seeds and of course fruit. I usually have 1 apple every morning also. (all organic).
I LOVE juices made with vegetables because I am a veggie lover!!
I probably eat less nuts than most people who eat a high raw diet. I like nuts in energy bars (dehydrated) and in dehydrated cookies but I also don’t eat a lot of those. I LOVE my crackers but make them with a lot of vegetables, sprouted buckwheat, flax and seeds.
The raw crackers are great to eat with a soup or salad and so good with avocado, salt, pepper, tomato, greens and sprouts – YUM!
When eating a higher raw diet it is important to eat a wide variety of vegetables. It doesn’t have to be in one day but mix things up so you are getting the various benefits of the nutrients contained in the variety of veggies.
I like dehydrated foods but you do have to drink a lot of water when eating them. The great thing is that they are filling, portable and can be stored in the freezer so you can make a large batch and take a bit out each time you want some. They are great to have in the freezer when you want something different and filling or something to go with a salad or soup.
As for all the imported superfoods out there in the raw food world, I pick a few to try but do not buy too many at one time. There may be some that consume a lot of these but most people I know pick just a few. They are expensive and shipping costs may be involved. I like to buy a few and when they are all gone I may try 1-2 new ones and consume them until they are gone, etc. I do not buy a lot at once. I think people believe we consume a lot of these because they see ads for them everywhere. The companies that sell them do a lot of advertising on blogs and internet sites.
Just like supplements, these superfoods (from all over the world) are a big business and there is always new products coming out. Most people find what 2-3 that they like and work for them.
I myself like to buy local products including soaps, produce, green powders (etc), body care products, honey and other foods.
I eat a lot of veggies prepared in a variety of ways, a few nuts and seeds, sprouted grains for a heavier breakfast or in dehydrated foods, lots of fruit, seaweeds, sprouts, smoothies, juices and a ton of greens!!
It is like anything else, you can get caught up in all the fancy superfoods from all over the world and the incredible cheesecakes and fatty raw foods but when you really get into it and eat a higher raw diet, your body doesn’t need all that heavy stuff and you begin to eat simply. This makes eating a higher raw diet – actually easy.
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STAY HAPPY & HEALTHY!