*This is a guest post by Keltie*
Are you searching for a healthier way of eating? Have you ever wondered what a raw food diet is? Does it mean eating uncooked eggs, fish, meats, cheese and milk? For some raw foodists or raw fooders it does mean that.
The world of raw food opens up a world of possibilities; the chance to re-examine what healthy eating means to you, the chance to evaluate individual food choices, and most importantly an insight into what exactly it is that we’re putting into our bodies on a daily basis.
I would like to tell you a little about eating a raw vegan diet or following a raw vegan lifestyle, which I have been doing for about the past year and a half and I have never felt better!
A raw vegan diet simply means eating whole unprocessed foods in their natural state. Raw organic fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, nuts and seeds. Essentially a plant based diet. No refined flours, sugars or soy. Nothing heated above 105 degrees F (about 41 C).
The benefits are many; the food is in a state that is as close to “real” as possible and the way nature intended; however, the thinking outside the box part comes in when dealing with cereals, grains, and other food items we don’t normally associate with the word “raw”. For example, beans, grains and seeds can be sprouted to allow them to reach their peak nutritional value, making them easier to chew and digest. You may consider using a dehydrator as part of preparing various “breads”, crackers, etc. Gadgets such as a spiral vegetable slicer can also add fun and flavour to the raw food lifestyle.
I call it a lifestyle, because it really is more than a simple change of diet, as you start to see food and your relationship with it in a whole new light. Where was my food grown and what was involved in getting it to my plate? What are the nutritional values of the food I’m about to eat and how will it impact my energy levels and health as well as the health of our planet? Can I choose an alternative raw food that will taste and look as good as the accepted “normal” food. The answer is “Yes!”
Over the last several years I was always looking for healthier ways of eating. I was still searching, still trying to lose that last 15 pesky pounds of baby weight (my baby will be 22 this September!) I was avoiding white flour and refined sugar as much as possible, and adding in whole grains & lots of fruits and vegetables. I continued to enjoy butter, eggs, milk, chocolate, coffee, lattes, yogurt, ice cream, cake, cookies, pasta, chicken and fish. I could never see myself giving up any of these things. Overall I considered myself to be making fairly healthy food choices, but there were times that I didn’t feel “quite right”.
I started to become even more conscious of what I was eating and moved toward a more vegetarian diet which lead me to further discover the benefits of a raw food diet and lifestyle.
I would like to share a couple of my favourite raw food recipes (desserts, of course!) Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
2 cups chopped frozen or fresh* mangoes
1 cup water
1/3 cup agave syrup
Combine all ingredients in high speed blender or food processor until smooth. Keep in covered container in freezer. Will keep several weeks (but probably won’t last because it is so yummy!).
(*if using fresh, chop ahead and freeze first before blending)
Try berries, peaches or pineapple or any other favourite fruit
1 cup coconut oil
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tbsp agave syrup (optional)
Place coconut oil in jar or glass measuring cup and let sit in bowl of hot water until it becomes liquid.
Then whisk in cacao powder and agave (if using).
Use to drizzle over ice creams, chilled fruits etc.
(also try with cinnamon, vanilla or mint)
Store in glass container with lid on counter or in cupboard. No need to refrigerate.
Thank you. Namaste ☺