Raw foodists eat only raw, uncooked foods: vegetables, fruits, seeds, sprouts, legumes, nuts, seaweed. Cooking anything over 116 degrees Farenheight destroys the enzymes in uncooked plants that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. Eating only raw foods ensures that you are getting all of the “life force” of the uncooked food. Not suprisingly, many people who go on a raw food diet experience better skin complexion, more energy, healthy weight loss, and better digestion, in addition to decreasing their risk of cancer.
Though I can’t give up my cooked pasta, melted cheese, steamed rice and sauteed vegetables anytime soon, one thing I am willing to do is increase my consumption of raw foods. Who knows, taking on these simple baby steps may inspire you to go on a month-long trial of only raw foods, or at least dedicate one or two days in a week to just raw uncoked foods. Any increase of raw food consumption, however minute, is a major win for your body.
Here are 7 tips to increase your consumption of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, sprouds, seaweed, seds and more. A few simple changes may eventually lead to a completely raw food lifestyle–you never know!
1. Enjoy a homemade fruit smoothie every morning. Juice up some strawberries, bananas, blueberries, or whatever else is in season in a blender for a fresh glass of fruit juice. Or if you don’t have a blender (or want to go through the trouble of cleaning one), squeeze yourself a glass of orange juice with a manual juicer.
2. Take advantage of pre-cut and pre-washed vegetables from the supermarket. Yes, buying them unprepared is always the cheaper option–but if pre-cut veggies are going to make you eat more veggies, then more power to you.
3. Enjoy diced raw vegetables in sandwiches, wraps, or in a cold pasta salad. Eating raw vegetables by itself may not be your thing, but you can enjoy it more if you wrap it in a tortilla with Thai peanut sauce, or toss it with cooked pasta and a tangy Italian salad dressing.
4. Always have a stock of raw snacks to munch on in the downtime between meals. Keep tupperwares of fruit slices, carrot sticks and nuts at hand so your grazing is always on healthy raw food.
5. Keep researching for new raw recipes that interest you. Eating only green salads and raw almonds will definitely get boring after a while. Eating raw food will stay interesting if you make it interesting with different recipes, different ingredients and different food preparation techniques.
6. Consider investing in a dehydrator. A dehydrator sucks air out of fruits and vegetables without cooking them above 116 degrees F, and will give you more interesting raw eating options.
7. Learn about other raw food preparation techniques: sprouting, soaking nuts, dehydrating, investing in a solar oven, and more.
Want to learn more about going on a raw food diet? Check out thebestofrawfood.com as a starting point for articles, resources, and recipes.