Most of us eat raw food, do we not? Think about apples, celery, salads, etc. But have you ever thought about making a majority of your diet raw foods? I've flirted with raw foods for the past three years, going weeks at a time of eating primarily raw foods and I've always felt great. The first part of December, though, I had the opportunity to take a raw foods class from a raw foods chef (and mom to 2 girls) and it was eye-opening.
When the body takes in more than 60% of it's daily intake of raw foods, it becomes a calorie burning, disease-fighting machine. No kidding! When eating raw foods, I can eat basically whatever I want (as long as it's raw), whenever I want, knowing that it's chock full of nutrition. I have so much more energy and feel great! Plus, I've dropped a few pounds and haven't ever even felt deprived! Oh, and my skin has a healthy glow, my wrinkles have diminished and my hair feels more luxurious than ever (must be all those avocados I eat). Of course, being raw has it's challenges, and being a raw mom is not an easy thing to do. Larabars have been my saving grace. But with a little planning and a handful of recipes, it can become second nature. Plus, my kids love the raw fruit pudding (just swirl a banana and a mango in the food processor) and my son shares all my wild juice concoctions with me, so they're getting extra nutrition and they don't even know it!
The key to raw foods is the enzymes that are present. In a natural state, most raw foods are full of them, with the exception of nuts. Nuts have enzyme inhibitors and must be soaked to release their enzymes (almonds, 8-12 hours and walnuts and pecans, just 2-3). These are what help your body repair itself and give you wonderful, vibrant health.
One of my favorite non-cook books is The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle by Carol Alt. Yes, the supermodel. She is the absolute picture of health and it's heartening to know that we can all enjoy her secret to great health and beauty.
As I approach the big 4-0 (tomorrow is the big day for me) I want to ensure that I'll have the energy to run around with my kids, and want my body to be in the best health possible for the rest of my years. Raw foods are a great way to stay vital, vibrant and strong! I've found that eating a raw breakfast, a raw lunch and raw snacks, combined with a cooked dinner with my family in the evening, gives me the balance and flexibility I need to follow a raw foods diet and stick to it. It's recommended that we eat at least 60% raw foods each day to maintain optimal health. It's a great way to start the new year and to explore a whole new way of eating. To your health!