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How to Get Started with Raw Food, One Approach

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have found the books by Brian Clement, the co-director of the Hippocrates Health Institute to be very helpful as well as the books by Victoria Boutenko that discusses making green smoothies. My local Barnes and Noble Bookstore has lots of books on raw food and perhaps you can find one that has a day by day plan. I like to keep my approach simple. I eat 100% raw to lose weight and I make large salads with lot so vegetables. I slice hardy vegetables, such as onions, cabbage, add broccoli slaw, red bell peppers, sliced almonds and marinate it in a dressing of fresh squeezed lemon juice, EVOO, fresh garlic pesto, and spices that I like. I make this ahead of time and when I want a salad, I bring out the baby spinach, sprouts, mache, cherry tomatoes and my wife and I make it like a salad bar, with each of us adding what we like to our plate. I only have to make the marinated vegetables up ever few days so it is a time saver to have everything ready.

I buy organic, prewashed greens in convenient bags, organic broccoli slaw so that I don't have to prepare that too, as well as shredded carrots. Trader Joe's is my source for a lot of the items that are organic and pre-washed and packaged. My local health food store and even the markets carry many convenient items like this. I supplement these items with, as available, sun chokes, jicama, celery, radishes, daikon radishes, etc. The important thing is to have all of the ingredients ready to use, so that it takes a minimum of time.

For breakfast, I make smoothies with greens: I use a combination of baby spinach, broccoli, a banana, an apple, and sweeten it with stevia. You can find exact recipes in many of the books, but I just add what I have, but keep it simple.

There are great recipes for dehydrated foods, but I don't have a dehydrator, nor want to take the time to bother with it. I just want fast, healthy, simple food. I keep raw walnuts in my freezer, raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios in my pantry ready to add to my salads or for an after exercise snack with a piece of fruit. One can make eating raw food complicated or simple, I prefer simple.

The guidelines from the Hippocrates Health Institute are to eat mostly green leafy, vegetables, sprouts of all kinds, colored vegetables such as red bell pepper, carrots, etc., sea vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits in that order. Making smoothies makes it easier to eat lots of greens, but chewing is important too as it maintains the health of our teeth.

Fruit juices are not healthy for kids or adults. Too much fruit is also not recommended. Fruits have been hybridized over the the history of agriculture and are too sweet, 30-40 times sweetener that they once grew naturally. They taste great, but they are not that good for us in large quantities, except when we are competing in athletic events and we will burn all of the sugar in the process, but not for daily consumption in large quantities.

I hope that this helps you get an idea of what you need to get started. It can be an easy thing to do all raw food or a very time consuming, but refined culinary activity that yields tasty results. It all depends upon what you have time for and what you enjoy doing.

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  • JIBBIE49
    I'd certainly eat ORGANIC if I were eating all raw.
    2560 days ago
    I like the salad ideas and have had similar ingredients when visiting a friend in BC. The variety is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
    2563 days ago
    TIGSCHEF1-I mix broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, finely slice red cabbage, diced red bell pepper, sliced sun chokes, finely sliced daikon radish, sliced celery root, and red onion together. I then make a marinade/salad dressing from fresh lime juice, EVOO, homemade garlic and Italian parsley pesto, turmeric, mixed herbs, Tamari, and water. I pour this mixture over the vegetables and refrigerate. When I am preparing my salad to eat, I place spinach, mache, mung bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, and cilantro in a dish and generously spoon the marinated sliced vegetable on top. I find that the marinade/salad dressing is sufficient to coat the underlying greens. I often top with half of a sliced avocado, grape tomaotes, and Nasturtium Flowers. I serve this with Japanese Nori (Sushi wraps made from seaweed), which I break into four pieces from the 10"x10" sheet and sometime wrap tidbits of salad in the Nori like a taco. It must be made fresh at the table as you eat because the Nori is very hygroscopic. It is best when it is crisp.

    If I wish to pack my salad to take with me for lunch, I pack the greens separately from the marinated vegetables and the optional toppings and combine them just before I eat so the greens are not wilted. The marinated vegetables maintain their texture for 3-4 days, if they last that long. I found that cucumbers are like the greens and will lose their crispness if marinated ahead of time.

    2563 days ago
    Chanetc - When you prep all the veggies to marinate, do you just mix them all together or do you store them in separate containers? Thanks. Linda
    2563 days ago
    This info was GREAT! I just happened on the blog from the scrolling sidebar. This is the most useful blog I've read in a long time. I too want my meals to be simple to prepare. I can't wait to try the ideas. Thanks again. Linda
    PS LOVE the background pix.
    2564 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/17/2011 1:16:25 AM
    By making them with slightly different ingredients and proportions and varying the homemade salad dressings, each salad is totally different each time. The last marinated topping that I made had a Chinese "chicken salad" taste with sesame oil, vinegar, Tamari, and sweetened with stevia plus black sesame seeds and other spices. I even added a little grated horse radish root to give it a very slight wasabi tang. I have fun with varying the ingredients with market availability and what I actually have on hand when I start to make it. This makes it fun and challenging for me.I think of a taste that I have had and work to create that taste with various ingredients that are tasty and healthy.
    2564 days ago
    Your salads sound sooo awesome
    2564 days ago
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