Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Raw Deal

I am totally into raw food lately. Raw fruits and vegetables are so essential to our overall health, but have you ever gone an entire day without touching even one? I know I have. Life is demanding and we are all so busy. We often get into the habit of grabbing whatever we can without putting much thought into the value of food as nourishment for our bodies. I have been making an effort to be very deliberate with incorporating raw foods into my meal planning. And it has been surprisingly simple!

For breakfast we have been starting with some berries or other fruit and then the other elements of the meal. Fruit is best digested in the morning, so try to limit your intake throughout the rest of the day. Another way to add raw to breakfast is to spread raw almond butter on toast. Grind it fresh when you can, or choose Maranatha Organic. Almond butter is lower in saturated fat than peanut butter (and a little less sticky!). I like to mix the raw almond butter with the roasted kind. You can grind it fresh yourself at Whole Foods and other health food stores. Sprinkle some nuts, seeds and a little sweet agave nectar right on top of the toast for a high fiber, high protein start to the day.

For snacks, lunch, and dinner, we have sliced or chopped veggies ready to go for dipping or tossing in a salad. If you eat raw foods first, you will digest the entire meal more efficiently, eat smaller portions, and be satisfied longer. Raw foods provide us with essential enzymes needed to break down foods. They are rich in water, which helps keep us hydrated, and also in fiber, which binds food together in the digestive tract and helps eliminate waste. This combination of high water, high fiber ultimately leaves us satisfied for longer duration, filling us up so we eat less...anyone out there trying to lose a few pounds?

At last, we may even choose some chopped Macadamia nuts and fresh berries as a topper to our favorite frozen treat-Coconut Bliss! Once again I find myself looking to nature and the wonderful foods that are all around us, ripe and ready to enjoy. Take this simple challenge-see if you can eat just one raw thing with every meal for the next seven days. Here's to your health!

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