Showing posts with label raw food lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raw food lifestyle. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recipes for a Raw Food Diet

Now that you have learned about the benefits of raw food dieting, and read how to get started with a raw food lifestyle let’s get down to business in the kitchen with some rousing raw food recipes to whet your appetite.   We’ll begin with the most basic of recipes, and then include some surprisingly creative raw food recipes that will amaze your taste buds and please the whole family.  But before we get started with the recipes, we should take a brief moment to look at…

Raw food risks and precautions


Some of the risks of going on a raw food diet include:
  • Food poisoning from either consuming foods raw or undercooked that should not be a part of a standard raw food diet, such as fish or meat or from not properly cleaning, preparing, or storing the raw food ingredients
  • Potential growth problems for for anyone, but particularly infants and children, on an improperly administered raw food diet
  • Consuming foods that are bad for you if eaten raw, such as beans and lentils. That said, an extremely healthy way to prepare lentils on a raw food diet is to sprout them.
While raw fruits and vegetables generally provide the highest level of nutrition, you should be aware that there are some foods whose ingredients, or a specific ingredient, are more bioavailable when cooked.  For example, while ripe raw tomatoes are loaded with nutritional value, the lycopene in tomatoes – effective in fighting certain types of cancer – is more easily absorbed into the body when the tomato has been processed into a tomato sauce with olive oil.  Likewise, raw kale is a powerhouse of vitamin and mineral goodness. But, as this article explains, you boost the effectiveness of kale’s fiber-related components when you steam it.


Raw food recipes


Let’s not forget that the basics of raw food dieting are ridiculously easy – simply add daily uncooked fruits or vegetables to your meals.  There are many fun and tasty raw food recipes, available in books or online. But don’t let food preparation knowhow and effort overwhelm you from adding raw food to your diet. For example:
  • Eat a banana, an apple, and a handful or two of raw nuts for breakfast.  The fruit starts up your digestive juices and fortifies your immune system with antioxidants. The apple gives you some valuable roughage.  And the nuts provide protein, which will help you feel full.
  • Make sure your lunch includes a salad with fresh, organic greens.
  • For dinner, use raw veggies for the side dish instead of cooked.  Good and easy choices include celery sticks, carrot sticks, or sweet peppers. 
  • While alcohol is generally considered taboo on a raw food diet, if you cannot bear the thought of going without alcoholic beverages, then at least choose wine.  Unlike beer or or any hard liquors that go through the heat of distillation, wine is not heated in the processing.

If you can achieve even just a 50 percent raw diet, you will begin to experience the many health benefits it offers. When you want to add variety, a selection of raw food recipe websites and raw food recipe books can add zest to your diet, keeping it interesting and balancing out your vitamin and mineral intake.  Here's just a tiny sample of delicious recipes for a raw food diet:
Do these not look like an appetizing start to your raw food diet?  You'll find thousands of delicious raw food recipes online, with some particularly good ones at Raw Food Home Recipes, We Like It Raw recipes, Gone Raw Recipes and, if you want raw juicing recipes, join the Let's Get Juiced!! Facebook group.  Between those four sites alone, you will have several hundred recipes worth trying and sharing.

If you have a favorite raw food recipe, share!  Please submit it, or the link to it, using the comments below.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Get Started on a Raw Food Diet

How to get started with a raw food diet


After reading our raw food diet primer What’s the Big Deal About Eating Raw Foods, you may be interested in “going raw” (as it’s called when you completely convert to a raw food-only diet), or at least making an effort to add raw food to your daily diet for better health.  If so, here's how to get started with the raw food diet and lifestyle.

Follow the leaders


Some of the biggest mistakes made by those who attempt to initiate a raw food diet is doing it alone. For most people, the raw food diet will be a significant change from the way they have always done food preparation. It's a radical enough departure from the standard American diet that "going raw" is often referred to as a lifestyle change, not simply a dietary change.

For this reason, it's highly advisable to partner up with someone who has successfully gone raw so that you can learn from their mistakes and get valuable cost-saving and time-saving advice.

If you don't have access to a knowledgeable, successful, practicing raw foodist among your friends or relatives, don't worry; there is a wealth of resources available to help you expand your knowledge, your food preparation skills, and your ability to do a raw food diet safely and successfully. For example:
  • There is a growing number of fact-filled, entertaining, and instructional raw food blogs (online weblogs) and vlogs (video weblogs) in which practitioners freely share a wealth of useful info, such as the Facebook group Let’s Get Juiced or the YouTube channel FullyRawKristina. The videos are particularly helpful, as you can learn by watching. To find some, go to YouTube or Vimeo and search for "raw food dieting" or "raw food lifestyle" to get started.
  • There are also dozens of reliable books on raw food dieting in the raw food lifestyle. To find the most reliable book resources, take advantage of the online bookstores' customer ratings and reviews.
  • Also look locally. Through libraries, health food stores, raw food restaurants, produce co-ops, and raw food producers, you can often find local seminars or raw food special interest groups meeting regularly to teach and learn about raw food techniques.

Preparing your kitchen for a raw food diet


Chances are that your kitchen isn't already ideally set up and prepared for raw food preparation. Sure: in many communities, you can simply buy prepared raw foods or dine at raw food restaurants – if you are one of the lucky communities to have them – rather than prepare them yourself.  However, you will no doubt find this a pricey proposition. For example, the local coffee house in my town sells an amazing chocolate  fudge food bar – delicious! – made entirely from raw, organic ingredients… for a whopping six dollars! The same coffee house also sells a traditionally prepared fudge bar – equally delicious – for just three bucks. 

Why the difference? Raw food recipes often take considerably more time to prepare, need to be prepared in smaller batches, have a shorter shelf life, and have more costly raw ingredients. Consequently, you may find going raw with your diet more realistic if you prepare the food at home.

Just be aware of the fact that there are getting-started costs that, while they will pay off in the long run, can make it a significant upfront investment to get the ball rolling. For example, commonly employed appliances in a raw food kitchen include:
  • A high powered blender – $200-$600 – necessary to sufficiently process fruit and green smoothies or raw soups. A cheap blender will burn out quickly under daily use and not produce a palatable texture.
  • A quality juicer – $150-$500. Cheaper juicers are often hard to clean, less able to handle the rigors of frequent juicing, and will heat up the produce during the juicing process, which can kill off nutritional value.
  • A food dehydrator – $150-$400. With the good dehydrator, you can significantly expand your raw food diet variety, such as making mock pizza crust from soaked seeds or a tasty raw fruit leather for raw food snacking on the go.
  • A high-end food processor – $100-$700. You want to look for one that can easily handle grading, slicing, and shredding processes for many kinds of foods. You'll be doing enough of this that a food processor, rather than hand-processing, will cut down significantly on your food prep time.

Beyond appliance purchases, the organic ingredients of the standard raw food diet usually cost more than conventional produce, which will be a continuing cost consideration.  Also, you will likely spend a good bit upfront with your raw food diet, stocking up on raw food ingredients that have long shelf lives, such as maca root powder, goji berries, raw organic nuts, organic dates, flax seed, hemp seed, etc. – any ingredients recommended in the first recipes you decide to try that you likely don't have already if you are presently eating a standard American diet.

The good news is that some of your food costs are likely to go down. For example, one of the largest expenses in the average American shopping cart is meat – something you won't need if you are on a completely raw food diet. Likewise, you'll find that your dining out budget will likely get a break. Chances are you won't be making a habit of fast food restaurants anymore, as few have accommodating ingredients for raw food dieter.

Now that you are prepared to go raw, start using Google search or YouTube's search engine to get a few simple recipes to help you start eating raw. And stay tuned – we've got one more raw foods article coming, featuring some amazing raw food recipes that sound too good to be true!


Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer