Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tip - The "raw" truth : )

Ok, Ketty almost stole my tip yesterday, : ) but hers was copied and mine is life experience, so have decided post it. After my cancer (many moons ago) I began to study more on the subject of nutrition. About 6 years after my cancer, tests began to show that I was possibly heading down the path to another type of cancer, so my nutritionist decided to do something drastic (bless his heart!) and I went on a raw diet for about 3 months. The first week was fine, but the 2nd I began to get discouraged, because I felt so limited in what I could eat (lettuce, tomatoes and onions can get old really fast). By the 3rd week I began to feel WONDERFUL and decided that I needed to get more creative in the kitchen and try new things. This of course involved more planning and time in the kitchen, but the effort proved well worth it.

Here I am many, many years later, and I still work on incorporating raw and fresh fruits and fresh vegetables into every meal. I aim for 50% or raw at each meal.

As Ketty´s article explained yesterday, raw food not only has vitamins and minerals that are intact from cooking procedures, but they are loaded with enzymes. Those enzymes are what the body uses to not only help digest the food you eat, but also to make those vitamins and minerals in the food, available and absorbable (is that a word?) to your body. So when you eat raw, you are doing so many wonderful things for your whole body, and over time, you will notice the difference in your health. I always try and remeber that raw food has life, and trust me, I need all the "life" I can get : )

One of the things that worked for me when I began to get back to "normal" eating but was still trying to maintain an intake of raw foods, was to always begin with the raw part of the meal. This would help fill me up, so that when I got to the cooked, I was beginning to feel full, and didn´t have that much of an apetite for it.

Here are some ideas to try to incorporate raw into your meals and snacks...and with Dani´s point special this week, this might help.

Breakfast - 1 or 2 pieces of fruit cut up with whole grain cereal, plain yogurt or juice.

Mid-morning snack - 1 piece of fruit (aim for variety - in taste and texture)

Lunch (our big meal in Spain) - salad - Forget about iceberg lettuce and launch out to try all the different greens. See how many ingredients you can include in your salad. (beets, zucchini, green beans, peas, corn - all RAW...and the list goes on). On another day, see how tasty you can make a salad with 2 ingredients - again test different tastes and textures, using herbs and spices to change things up. Make new salad dressing recipes and remember that a salad eaten with less dressing (even if the dressing is not very light in calories) is still a salad eaten! After the salad eat a light pasta dish, a filet of fish, chicken, turkey, etc. Make a pasta dish and add raw ingredients to the sauce right before you serve it.

Mid afternoon snack - raw nuts and another piece of fruit.

Supper - make a salad (just don´t call it that) and wrap a LOT of salad in a wrap, stuff it in a pita bread, or lay it on a piece of homemade wheat bread. If eating a soup or sandwich, add vegetable sticks - lots of them and different kinds. Make a pizza and cover it with raw veggies after you pull it out of the oven with the cooked ingredients.

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