Rah! Rah! Raw!
Marni Goes “Un-Cooked”
Adding more raw and whole foods into your diet is a great way to boost your health. Raw foodism is a lifestyle and diet of a person who eats mostly raw foods. The majority of their meals will be made from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and sprouts. This type of diet reflects strong values that seek to incorporate organic foods, unprocessed and uncooked foods as a means to better health. It may sound highly ambitious, but there are tons of benefits to incorporating more raw foods into your diet.
What are the benefits of eating more raw foods?
With the raw foods as the foundation of your diet you will have more energy, lose weight and feel great. Raw foods are loaded with enzymes, vitamins and nutrients. Vegetables, fruits and sprouted grains give you so much added water and fiber that will help to keep you hydrated, boost your digestion and give new vitality to your day.
Do I need to adopt a raw foods lifestyle to gain benefits?
You don’t need to become a total raw foodie to see great results. It is not about becoming 100% raw and following strict guidelines – it is about reminding yourself to eat better, seek out more fresh vegetables, seeds and fruits, get creative with new recipes and add clean, pesticide-free foods into your diet. My advice is to not get caught up in details and just start simply by adding more “raw” foods into your diet. If you succeed with even half of your meals consisting of raw food, you are on the right track!
Start with a Smoothie!
Raw smoothies are a great morning metabolism boost. Start by choosing a liquid like almond milk or coconut water for the base. Toss in some fruits and vegetables! You can play with your flavours with some apple, banana, celery or even some added ginger in your blender for a delicious raw drink.
A fresh fruit a day keeps the Doctor away.
There are tons of fun fruits to choose from that will lead to great health! Aim to have at least a serving or more of fresh fruit every day.
You can never eat too many servings of fresh vegetables!
Try cutting up some fresh carrots sticks and celery and place them in your fridge for mid-day snacks. Veggies are full of vitamins, minerals and water.
Crunch on some raw organic nuts and seeds. You’ll notice they you won’t crave water like the ones that are overly salted or roasted—and you might surprise yourself by filling up fast from their great fatty and protein-filled nature. A great snack-on-the go is a raw trail mix. Try adding some apricots, goji berries, golden berries or even add some pure raw dark chocolate (cacao).
Sprouts are Sweet!
Grab a bag of fresh sunflower or pea sprouts from your local health food store or farmers’ market. These make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, soups, stir fries and yes, even smoothies.
Think outside the cooking box!
Challenge yourself to get creative and try to prepare a few new raw recipes each week. There are lots of books, websites and local cooking classes on how to prepare things like smoothies, raw nori rolls, cookies and nut-based spreads.
Ready and daring to try your first raw recipe? Dive into a world of creativity. This raw basil pesto will have your friends asking: “Really, this is raw?” It is easy, and filled with taste-sensation.
RAW BASIL PESTO
A delicious spread to enjoy with raw bread, flatbread, and crackers or served with crunchy raw veggies, kelp noodles or shredded zucchini!
- 2 tbsp torn fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 cup whole almonds, soaked overnight or for 8 hours or sunflower for a nut-free option
- ½ cup pine nuts or hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup olive oil (or more) for a creamier consistency
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth
- Place in a bowl and refrigerate
- Serve with cucumber slices, zucchini noodles, carrots, whole grain or raw crackers or brown rice paste/kelp noodles or steamed vegetables!
Marni Wasserman is a Culinary Nutrionist & Health Strategist at Toronto's first Plant Based Food Studio. marniwasserman.com