Quote [29]

8 07 2009

If thou live according to nature, thou wilt never be poor;
if according to the opinions of the world, thou wilt never be rich.

(Seneca)

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Baby It’s Cold Outside!

8 07 2009

Those that live in the tropics are exposed to a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Unfortunately, not all of us live in those regions.

The Ideal Situation

How can you eat a natural raw diet if you live in cold regions where locally grown fruits and vegetables simply are not available most of the year? While you might really want to move to Hawaii, Florida or Costa Rica where you can get wonderful raw fruit and vegetables that are grown nearby all the time, you may have a job that means you must reside in Canada, Nebraska, or another cold area.

Air travel, thankfully, has made it possible for raw-foodists living in cold climates to obtain imported fresh, natural foods. When it is cold, the body uses more calories to stay warm, so you may find you think you should eat more. That isn’t necessarily true. Those extra calories may come from carbohydrate-rich fruit like bananas.

Must I Eat Only Locally Grown Foods?

Some philosophies, such as macrobiotics, believe that eating exotic or imported foods are unhealthy. This requires a little thought. Because the human diet is designed for humans – all over the world – and many fruits and vegetables that grow in your locale may, in fact, not be indigenous to that region, this idea simply doesn’t make sense.

For an example, let’s look at mangoes. These fruit are tasty, sweet, full of fiber and great for you. They taste grand! And it’s really nice if you can simply walk outside and pull a ripe one from your tree or purchase some from your neighborhood market that are locally grown and harvested ripe. The fruit has the most nutrition this way.

But, for those people that eat imported mangoes that have been stored during shipment, it is still a great food that is tasty, sweet, full of fiber and great for you. In fact, a mango purchased in Montreal could have been picked only a few days before because technology provides such great ways to distribute food to other locales.

In truth, much of the foods that are not healthy, are processed and have additives are much older than that exotic fruit you find in your grocer’s produce section. Of course, it costs energy to transport food, and if you wish to live truly green, you can always choose those fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that are grown nearby as much as possible and choose to avoid some of the most exotic choices that are grown on the other side of the planet.

In some locations, especially in the long northern winters, local produce is almost nonexistent. Even lettuce is several weeks old. If you have a climate controlled greenhouse, you can grow some of your own food, but most people aren’t in this situation. You can, however, choose to grow fresh sunflower greens which are a fresh green vegetable. It’s simple and easy and very healthy to include these in your diet and you can cut the greens immediately before consumption so they are the freshest and tastiest of winter vegetables.

Handling Cold

There are some people, even raw-foodists that say eating spicy foods, such as those with garlic or cayenne pepper, is a good practice in the winter. However, adding spices to food means that the food is no longer natural, unprocessed and healthy.

In truth, eating these toxic foods does not make a person warmer; they produce the exact opposite. The feeling of “nice and warm” is the body activating your metabolism in order to rid itself of the poison!

Raw-foodists that complain of ‘freezing’ in the winter often eat their foods cold. When food that has been kept in refrigeration is eaten while cold, the body will feel cold. Simply let the food warm up before eating.

Since raw, natural foods do not become rancid like meats do, you can remove from the refrigerator all the food you plan to eat the next day and let it reach room temperature. If you need to eat something straight from the refrigerator, place it in warm water for about ten minutes.

When feeling chilly, exercise can generate warmth. An aerobic session can raise metabolism as much as 10% above the resting rate. This means that if it were possible to work out hard for one hour without dissipating any heat at all, you’d raise you body temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit! So, get up and exercise! You’ll feel better, be warmer, and enjoy better health.

Tropical or Temperate Fruits: Which is Better?

There are some people that say that one type of fruit is better than another based on the climate where it was grown. One theory is that tropical fruit is better than fruit grown in temperate areas because our bodies are mot genetically adapted to them. This belief would mean that papayas, mangoes, and bananas would be best while apples, pears and most berries would be less beneficial.

Because there is not any substantial proof that fruit grown in any particular region is better for the human body, I propose that they are all good. Enjoy as wide a variety of raw fruits as is available, depending on where you are and the season.

Some of the most delicious fruits, cherimoya, litchi, jackfruit, durian, and many others, are not well known but as people learn to eat more fruit, more varieties will become available to everyone.

Frozen_Fruit_by_jaydeddesigns





The Bigger Picture.

8 07 2009

Some former raw-foodists ate a healthy, natural raw diet for several years, but went back to the Standard American Diet (SAD) because they constantly experienced cravings or lack of satisfaction.

A diet isn’t right unless it is sustainable. So, the big picture means that healthy food choices must be made, consumed in the right combinations, and it must be satisfying without huge cravings. That is the raw food diet you want to achieve!

Does Raw Always Mean Unheated?

This is a big and important question! The dictionary defines raw as “uncooked” but it also includes “not processed, purified or refined” in the definition. This indicates that raw food is food that is in a natural state – whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their natural state.

If you think about the definition of “raw”, it is impossible to consider oils, dried fruit, dehydrated crackers and many other items as raw. Think about a can of nuts from the grocery store. First of all, the nuts are usually roasted using oil or coconut butter, and they have salt, and sometimes sugar or other spices, added before packaging.

If raw means unadulterated and natural, would you consider these nuts healthy and part of a raw-foodist regimen? Of course not. The same goes for most nut butters, dried spices, herbs, and frozen fruits or vegetables.

The secret is to avoid becoming a fanatic on the term ‘raw’ and, instead, ask some questions about every food choice:

  • Is this really healthy for me?
  • Do I feel great after eating this food?
  • Is this a specific food for humans considering how humans are designed?
  • Is this a fruit or vegetable?
  • Is this food easy to digest?

You’ll find that a 100% raw food diet means that you’ll eat mostly raw food. You’ll avoid heating foods for the most part. While some have gone long periods of time eating a 100% unheated raw diet, most do not claim to eat 100% raw all the time, nor will they ever achieve that mark.

It’s pretty simple and easy for most people, especially in the summer, to eat only raw foods. They are plentiful and at their prime. But there are times that raw-foodists eat some steamed vegetables.

No one is perfect. The key is to stick closely to the raw-foodist regimen but also to realize that you are only human and not perfect. So, if you feel you simply must have some hot food once in a while or are placed in a situation where eating 100% raw simply isn’t possible that meal, choose some lightly steamed vegetables.

If you simply must have some meat on rare occasions, or if the situation you are in means it isn’t possible to avoid all meat for that meal, select a very small serving eaten with raw vegetables that are non-fat.

When you can’t be 100% raw-foodist for one meal, avoid fat or foods with added fat, because it can be a trigger eating food choices that are much worse! Then, get right back on your regular eating pattern.

Raw is not the only Criterion

We simply must use some common sense and be aware of what food choices we make. It’s better to have some lightly steamed vegetables than to eat a large amount of nuts and seeds. Junk foods, like pizza, chips, anything fried, coffee, ice cream, pastries, and similar foods, are much worse for you than a small piece of meat. If you eat a piece of chicken with a salad, it is better than choosing pizza!

The ideal foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, including fresh nuts and seeds. However, we live in an artificial world. If you must deviate from the 100% unheated raw diet, make rational choices.

Common Mistakes Made by Raw-Foodists

I’ll list for you the most common ways that people sabotage their diets, resulting in cravings and lack of satisfaction with their raw, natural diet:

  • Using salt, condiments, and/or spices
  • Eating too many avocados or eating avocados every day
  • Eating too many nuts or nut butter
  • Worrying or thinking about food continually
  • Drinking too much juice, especially fruit juice
  • Eating concentrated sweets like honey or maple syrup
  • Eating raw cacao – just because it is raw doesn’t mean it is less toxic
  • Thinking that drinking coffee, tea or other caffeine drinks will not sabotage your diet
  • Eating large amounts of sprouted beans and grains
  • Not getting sufficient sleep or sleeping at irregular hours
  • Failing to consider digestion, eating complex mixtures or mixing the wrong foods
  • Eating a raw diet but failing to maintain dental hygiene, including regular check-ups
  • Not getting enough exercise, even if eating a raw food diet
  • Eating too much acid fruit, eating dried fruit; eating dates on a regular basis
  • Using oil regularly
  • Overeating greens by dulling the taste with gourmet salads
  • Failing to pay attention to the body’s signals about hunger, even when eating a raw diet

You’ll find that avoiding these common mistakes will help you feel balanced and healthy. Eat a raw food diet, or one that is very close to 100% raw, natural whole food, but don’t think that this regimen will solve everything, in every case and situation. It is only one factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A Word of Warning

While eating raw is something that almost anyone can achieve, there are those that have health, mental or physical constitutions not suited to making a sudden change of diet. For these people, as well-planned transition is required. Diets must be adapted to personal needs and no one should conform blindly to an idea without considering these factors. Any competent hygienic practitioner would never recommend a 100% raw diet to everyone immediately in every single case!





Recipes, Juicing and Blending.

5 07 2009

Below are a couple of great sounding recipes for you to AVOID in order to give you some creative ideas about making meals with raw foods. We’ll also discuss blending and juicing and some of the great things you can do with this process which remains natural and raw.

Bad Recipes

The term “combo-abombo” was first used by R.C. Dini, author of Raw Courage World, who defined the term as a combination that is an abomination! It’s a poorly combined recipe, in other words.

Now, raw foods are supposed the best food choices but, because they are not cooked leave a lot to the imagination. And combining the wrong foods can result in gas, stomach upsets and even acid problems.

Not all raw food recipes are healthy. The problem is that many include too many nuts, lots of seeds or avocados and added oils. They may be tasty, but they aren’t what fits into the raw-foodist’s diet is success is to be achieved.

Here’s a recipe that may taste great but is NOT suitable for you. It’s called “Nut Loaf” and imitates meat loaf for dinner. Here’s the recipe and, with what you’ve already learned, you soon see how unhealthy it really is for you:

1 1/3 cups cashews
1 1/3 cups sunflower seeds
1 1/3 cups almonds
½ cup of oil

This creation serves two. Now let’s analyze the content of the nuts and oil used in this recipe. It will make it even clearer why you should avoid using this recipe:

1 1/3 cups cashews or about 150 grams =

69.5 grams of fat

1 1/3 cuts sunflower seeds, about 190 grams =

94.2 grams of fat

1 1/3 cups almonds or about 200 grams =

104.4 grams of fat

½ cup of olive oil which is about 125 grams =

125.0 grams of fat

Total Fat:

393.1

Divided by 2 for two people:

196.55 grams of fat for each person!!

In other words, the entire dish is 100% fat! Totally what the raw-foodist wants to avoid. Low-fat is what is optimal with only about 5% or at most 6% of the dietary calories coming from fat.

If you add salt, spice, soy sauce, miso, onion, garlic, and other oils that taste good to the palate that is not accustomed to eating raw, natural foods, the situation worsens. You’ll only overeat and fail to obtain health and energy.

Good Recipes

Combine a few ingredients that are raw, natural and unseasoned and you can create a great cuisine. The general rules is 5-5-5 which means the dish should require:

  • 5 or less ingredients
  • 5 or fewer minutes to prepare
  • cost less than $5.

What a great deal in time, purchases, and cost.

What about Juicing or Blending?

Juicing, simply squeezing the juice from fruits or watery vegetables, takes almost all the important fiber from the food making it less whole and more refined, therefore it isn’t as good for the body.

Raw-foodists should consume foods as close to nature as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should never juice any food. Blending rather than juicing is much better and creates a similar serving.

There’s a big problem with fruit juice that you should know about. The sugar in fruit juice is absorbed too quickly when separated from the fiber. Blending vegetables into a drinkable food source is much, much better.

Do not drink huge amount of blended green vegetables – a glass or two per day is plenty if you enjoy this way of getting nutrition. Eat the remainder of your food. If the juice has a strong flavor, such as parsley or kale, you can blend some mildly flavored vegetables, such as celery or fennel, into the mixture to dilute the stronger vegetable. You can add some carrot, beet or apple to create a good flavor.

One way to make juice better, if you do wish to juice something, is to add the pulp back into the final product. Drink about 70% of the product as juice, then add the remainder to the pulp and eat this mixture. You can add some chopped vegetables to the mixture and turn it into a tasty creation that is good for you and fits well in your raw-foodist diet.

Smoothies and Blended Food

Green smoothies created in your blender are great for you! You can prepare these in just a minute and create a tasty meal or snack. You’ll quickly learn what combination of vegetables, and perhaps a little fruit, tastes the best to you.

Carrot Juice

Some folks say carrot juice raises blood sugar and has other bad effects. There is no firm evidence of this that I have seen and carrots are a great, nutritious root vegetable. Of course, consuming huge amounts of carrot juice would be detrimental, but so would huge amount of any single food. A mixture of raw foods is needed to obtain the right balance of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

If you like carrot juice or carrot smoothies, by all means have a glass! But don’t drink a quart, replacing other valuable raw foods by filling up on just carrots.





Quote [28]

3 07 2009

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

(Chinese Proverb)





Pizza Bread- Raw!

3 07 2009

Barley Pizza Crust
2 Cups Sprouted Barley
1 1/4 Cup ground Flax Seeds
1/2 Cup Leek (Onion would work too)
2 Celery Stalks
1 Carrot
1 Large Tomato
2 Large Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Water

I mixed the ingredients in the food processor and spread the batter in small circles on teflex sheets. (If you prefer, you could make a couple of large pizza crusts instead.) I dehydrated at 115 for a couple of hours, turned the crusts onto the mesh, then dehydrated at 105 for another 6 hours or so. Yummo!

BarleyCrustAfterW

Carmella’s Notes:
Alissa suggests that you soak the barley (unhulled as pearled barley won’t sprout!) for 6 hours, then let it sprout for a day or so, rinsing often, until the tail is just starting to peek out. For more info on how to sprout barley, go to this site.

For a delicious variation, you can also substitute barley for sprouted buckwheat.





Ravioli- Raw!

3 07 2009

This raw version by Alissa Cohen should stick to your ribs. “This is one of my favorite raw recipes,” explains Cohen. “I often make these at seminars and events and people go wild over them! There is always one person who continues to ask me through the whole event, ‘What kind of pasta is this made from” even after I tell them numerous times that it’s turnip not pasta. It’s hard to believe these are raw!'” AlissaCohen.com

ALISSA COHEN’S RAW RAVIOLI

Wrappers (these replace the pasta dough):

  • 4 turnips

Peal the turnips. Slice the turnips into very thin slices, by cutting them in half and then using a spiral slicer, mandolin or other vegetable slicer to make thin round disks.

Cheese filling:

  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 t braggs
  • 8 t lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley

Blend the pine nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts in a food processor until ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well, until creamy.

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 dates
  • dash of olive oil (optional)

Soak the sun dried tomatoes until soft. In the food processor, blend the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and garlic – until well blended . Add the dates and olive oil and blend until smooth. This sauce should be thick.

Directions for Assembling the Ravioli:

  1. Remove a single turnip slice from the batch.
  2. Place a teaspoon full of cheese filling in the turnip slice and fold the turnip over until all the sides meet.
  3. Squeeze the edges together. Some of the filling will ooze out, but this is what will hold the edges together. Just put the excess back into the bowl to reuse. If you don’t have enough filling in them they will not stick together.
  4. Place them in a single layer on a large plate and drizzle the tomato sauce on top, allow to sit for a few hours. The turnip will become soft from the tomato sauce.
  5. To serve, scoop us the raviolis with a spatula.

raw_ravioli_1