Wednesday

Go Meatless!


Vegetables or veggies (as they are most commonly referred to) are a vital part of any diet program you choose to pursue. It was Hippocrates that said it best: "Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food."



As with any diet you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor for guidance.


1.) 
Basically a vegetarian diet, the raw food diet promotes eating and drinking ‘living’ foods. Living foods and juices contain the maximum amount of fiber found in raw produce, fiber that can be lost in processing. Such foods are easily metabolized and tend to be lower in calories than the average diet.

Heating food above 116°F destroys enzymes that aid in food digestion and  absorption as well as diminishing its nutritional value.

Quick Facts

A diet of at least 75% raw food offers numerous health benefits, such as increased energy, improved skin appearance, better digestion, weight loss and reduced risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

A raw food diet contains little to no saturated fats, is low in sodium, high in potassium, magnesium, folate and fiber. Raw food diets are also excellent detox diets. Different combinations of raw, living foods and juices can be used for colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing and skin cleansing.

NEED SOME GREAT CLEANSING METHODS?


The Breakdown

Any combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans, nuts, legumes, young coconut milk – even seaweed – can be menu items of a raw food diet. Your choice of foods may depend on your reasons for dieting, for example: 

  • Carrots are a great source of vitamin A as well as encouraging healthy vision and a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Germinated brown rice slows glucose absorption and improves metabolism.
  • Raw or lightly steamed cabbage supports healthy cellular function; radish leaves act as an antioxidant, as do Shiitake mushrooms.
  • Organic sprouts contain proteins, vitamins and minerals.
  • Sprouts can be used in salads and soups, or can be juiced.
A great juicing recipe to complement a raw food diet is carrot juice with grated sweet potato, fennel and apple. Simply juice 4 medium carrots, 2 apples, 1 small potato and 1 small stalk of fennel.

Fennel has been shown to reduce and control inflammation of arthritis, it balances mood swings and depressive states and contains manganese, plus zinc and vitamin B complex.

Seeds and grains are fantastic natural sources of unsaturated fatty acids and lecithin, and an excellent source of proteins. They contain the powerful antioxidant vitamins A, B, and E. 


Not So Fast...

Again, as with any major change in diet, it’s prudent to consult your doctor first. This is especially true for children, pregnant women, anyone with anemia or anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. 

Sometimes natural foods can conflict with certain medications, so please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medication.

Because a raw food diet is detoxifying some people suffer a minor detox reactions such as: mild headaches, nausea and/or cravings. These symptoms may last for a few days. However, you’ll get more benefits from your raw food diet if you cut down on things like meats, sugar and caffeine a week or so before starting the diet.


The Wrap-Up

A raw food diet is certainly a good way to improve your overall health. Like anything worthwhile it takes time, energy and commitment. There are many great products and books on the market that can help you prepare your own living food and save you some time as well. 

Combined with regular exercise, a raw food diet is also an excellent weight loss method. If you’ve been feeling ‘a little off’, or just need a pick-me-up and some extra energy, then a raw food diet is certainly a good way to go.

WANT AN EASY WAY TO MAKE YOUR DIET WORK?

So do you want to try it out? Try this recipe below for some simple raw vegetable sandwiches. Let us know what you think.




REAL Veggie Sandwiches

1-2 cups of alfalfa sprouts
1-1/2 cups of thinly sliced carrots
1 cup of celery cut one inch in length and sliced length-wise
1 cup of thinly sliced tomatoes (seeds removed)
1 cup of mushrooms
1-1/2 cups of low-fat hummus spread
6 pitas, split and opened into a pocket
1-2 med cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups of low-fat vinaigrette for marinade



Pour vinaigrette over combined carrot, celery, tomato and mushrooms. Cover; allow marinade in refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight. Drain, reserving marinade. For each sandwich, brush inside each pita with remaining vinaigrette. Fill halfway with vegetables add a dollop of hummus. Continue filling with vegetables until at desired levels. Makes about 12 sandwiches. 


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1.)  photo credit: scinta1 Fresh produce from the local Farmers Market via photopin (license) 

  

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