Raw foods are jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, so not only will you feel lighter, full of energy and want to get moving, your bowels will get moving also. What a bonus!
Article by Nikki Malone
Nikki is a Nutritionist in Sydney, Australia with a focus on healing through food. She has a love of kayaking, adventure, animals and good food. Nikki conducts motivational workshops, shopping tours, is a kitchen detective and healthy cooking coach.
Raw food days
My fondest childhood memory is of summer, poking about in the back garden with my dad, picking fresh peas from the pod and sitting in the sun with him, eating them raw. I think that’s why I’ve such a passion for food, having seen it from a very early age, in my own backyard, being grown, being harvested, eating it raw and truly tasting what food should taste like. Now that I’m older and educated, I realise the benefits of eating raw foods, and eating intuitively, as nature intended.
Enzymes are the “life force” or energy in living food, and are vital for all the chemical processes within the body, especially the digestion and absorption of food. They are so fundamental to life that our life span depends on the supply of them. Once foods are heated above 45°C, the enzymes within them begin to be destroyed. Heated beyond 50°C, they are totally destroyed.
When we eat cooked foods, messages are sent to our immune system which releases leucocytes (white blood cells), a process called ‘digestive leucocytosis’. These cells are usually increased during stress, in defence against disease, injury or infection, or exposure to toxic chemicals. Their production, due to ingesting cooked foods, seems to be because the body considers such food as a threat or danger. In 1930, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff and other researchers discovered that this does not happen whenever a meal consists of, or even begins with raw food.
Eating foods devoid of enzymes also places a burden on your pancreas, as it needs to produce the missing enzymes in the food. This is why you feel sluggish or sleepy after a large steak or bowl of pasta. Your body has to divert its energy from boosting immunity, making new red blood cells, eliminating toxins, regenerating organs and body tissues, rejuvenating the skin, and healing processes, in order to replace the enzymes that were destroyed. The high incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and other degenerative diseases is consistent with the expected results of enzymes damaged in a highly cooked diet.
In contrast, raw food meals leave you feeling vital and full of energy. Raw foods are jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, so not only will you feel lighter, full of energy and want to get moving, your bowels will get moving also. What a bonus! Have one raw food day a week and judge for yourself. Take your health and well-being into your own hands and return to a natural state of equilibrium. There are many delicious raw food recipes you can create, and they don’t have to be boring. Mother nature provides us with not only nutritious but delicious food, that contains all the nutrients needed to lead a healthy and harmonious life. Life’s too short to eat cooked, denatured, devoid food all the time.
Not only is eating raw good for you but has other benefits. It’s convenient, has little impact on the environment, saves you money and time, and is environmentally friendly packed by mother nature so there’s less toxic packaging and waste. Mother nature provides food which gives life as well as the ability to save our life.
Delicious and nutritious raw food ideas…
- Banana, mango, cinnamon and fresh coconut
- Banana and mixed berries
- Mango, pineapple and fresh mint
- Peach and banana
- Or your own favourite fruit combination.
Your favourite combination of vegetables such as tomato, carrot, cucumber, beetroot, celery, spinach, parsley and ginger sweetened with an apple or two.
A bowl of fruit that’s in season. Serve with seeds, nuts, fresh coconut flesh, goji berries (or other non sulphur dried fruit) and almond milk seasoned with vanilla or cinnamon.
Soups such as:
- Tomato with garlic and basil
- Avocado, tomato and chilli soup
- Corn and fresh coconut soup
Home made dips such as:
raw beetroot, carrot, spinach, cucumber, guacamole, sun dried tomato and chilli
Spicy salsa made from avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, Spanish onion, red capsicum, corn, chilli, garlic, parsley and lemon juice.
For a salad, don’t just think of boring lettuce and cucumber. Try ingredients such as:
- snow peas or bean sprouts, daikon (white radish)
- watercress, beetroot leaves, endive, mustard or dandelion greens, alfalfa or rocket
- fresh herbs (basil, mint, coriander, chives etc)
- red capsicum, green beans, mushrooms, edible flowers, sun dried tomatoes, fennel, soaked wild rice, seaweed, kelp, wakame, grated fresh beetroot, sprouted lentils
- Other salad additions: raw nuts, sesame seeds (black and white), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, nigella seeds or flaxseeds.
For a salad dressing try:
- blended sesame seeds with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil (tahini)
- ginger, lemon juice and nama shoyu
- lemon juice
- apple cider vinegar
- flaxseed oil
- sesame oil
- olive oil
- A power salad with raw nuts such as the canton crunch salad (see recipe further down…)
- Watercress, bean sprouts and pea shoot salad with sesame oil
- Wakame salad: wakame (seaweed) tossed with chopped chilli, shallots, sesame seeds and sesame oil
- Tabouli: cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, parsley, shallots, sesame seeds, olives, soaked wild rice, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
- Tossed Chinese greens with shitake mushrooms, ginger, chilli, shallots and raw cashews drizzled with nama shoyu (unfermented soy sauce).
- Vegetable nori rolls: avocado, shallots, julienned cucumber and capsicum, bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms, baby spinach, fresh ginger wrapped in nori sheets. Served with nama shoyu
- Zucchini fettuccini with pesto. Using a mandolin slice the zucchini into ribbons that resemble fettuccini. Toss through pesto made from basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil.
- Your favourite hearty salad
Homemade sorbets. Simply blend your fruit of choice such as:
- mixed berries
- lemon and mint
- pineapple and ginger
Blend the fruit with enough water until smooth. Place in the freezer for a few hours and mix with a fork to your desired consistency.
- Sliced banana, fresh coconut, chopped dates and pistachios
- Wheatgrass shots
- Fruit salads
- Raw nuts
- Goji berries or other dried fruits (not sulphur dried)
- Vegetable sticks with spicy guacamole.
- Raw chocolate – cacao (yes raw chocolate)
Enjoy the journey of discovering raw foods.