Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Going Raw(er)

At the beginning of the summer we started learning about the health benefits of a raw food diet.  It is basically eating uncooked, unprocessed food as a large part of the diet.  And by diet, I mean way of eating, not weight-loss plan.  I had heard of it before, but didn't look into it.  After watching Food Matters, I checked out David Wolfe and other top raw foodies.  There are blogs and sites galore.  Go here to check out the health benefits.

Our fruit out on the counter.

We also started juicing.  Have you heard of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead?  After we watched it,  I went nuts looking for info online.  A wonderful friend let us borrow her juicer.  Then another sweet friend gave us one they didn't use.  (We gave the borrowed one back :))  You should ask around! We have juiced all kinds of fruit and veggie combos.  Some fantastic, others...well, not so bad if you can chug.  We drank a ton of good stuff we'd never be able to eat in a sitting.  And it did leave us feeling satisfied.  Now we are not as hard core, but when we have a lot of something (i.e. apples below) or rouge fruit/veggies that need to get used up, juicing is the way to go. Also, we plan to do a juice fast for detoxing.  We have seriously been on the go so much lately that it has been hard to schedule.  But soon!

There are a lot of raw food books at the library; look in the regular cookbook section.  I checked out huge stacks at a time.  When the kids went to bed I would sit with a cup of tea and read through them, putting sticky notes by recipes I liked.  Here are some of my tips for baby-stepping it to raw:
 1.  Go the the farmer's market or produce section first and take time to explore.  Check out new colors and textures.  I discovered jicama and I love it!
2.  Don't get bogged down by recipes.  If you have purchased or grown a variety of foods, just chop them up and enjoy.  Add a homemade (or not) dressing or dip if you feel spunky.
3.  It doesn't all have to be salads.  Smoothies and wraps (sprouted tortillas and bread work great- look in the freezer section) are easy to make in a variety of ways.  There are also amazing raw desserts.
4.  Add more raw each time you eat (each meal, day, week, whatever works).  A simple goal might be to eat one raw meal a day.
5.  Have fun with it and experiment with recipes that sound good to you.

Notice the library cookbook propped up against the wall.
I try to always have raw food with my meals now.  The higher the ratio of raw, the better, but you just do the best you can.  Sometimes I do better than others.

Random shot of boys' lunch one day.
A few blogs I like for recipes and information:
Raw Family
Kristen's Raw
Oh She Glows
This one is a good place to start We Like It Raw

And there are so many more.  I just found these in my initial searching and liked the recipes.
I should note that I do not consider us a raw family.  There are days when the fresh produce has run out and we just cook something up.  But since dabbling in it, I am definitely more intentional about including as much raw as possible in our diets.

Healthy Tip to Remember: 

Have more raw food on your plate than cooked.

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