by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy
If you want to eat raw, one of the best reasons to do so is for the increase in energy. Rather than consuming processed foods that do nothing but leave you feeling slow and lethargic, raw foods will give you an instant energy boost that no cup of coffee can touch in terms of brightness and overall good health. And the best part of raw foods is that, no matter what time of day, you can find something raw and delicious that will give you the energy boost you need to take on the rest of the day.
For breakfast, you can’t do any better by your body than to skip the coffee and sugary cereal, and go with a smoothie. Smoothies can be customized to exactly what you like, what you want, and what works best for you, and they’re incredibly quick and easy to make. A great example of a wonderful morning smoothie is the Green Power Smoothie. Just toss a handful of kale and spinach into the blender, and add one apple, sliced and cored, a sliced and cored pear, and the juice of one whole orange - the fresher, the better. Blend until completely combined and smoothed, and serve immediately ñ or put it in the fridge for consumption within the next few hours. But don’t let it sit for too long, or the flavors will become less fresh. And the freshness of this smoothie is what makes it so great.
For lunch, maybe you are craving a big, rich Caesar salad, just like you used to have before you went raw? Well, good news - you can have a raw Caesar! The biggest obstacle is usually the croutons and the dressing, but a resourceful raw eater can find ways around that. Instead of store-bought croutons, try almond slices for the crunch factor, or crumbled dehydrated nut crackers for a more varied flavour that will be closer to what you remember. For the dressing, try a much thicker mixture of soy milk and soy milk powder, combined with raw garlic. Toss with romaine lettuce, and use a non-cooked soy cheese substitute for the usual parmesan. For some variety, try adding in some homemade guacamole for an explosion of flavor that will equal the energy output.
Dinner offers a wide variety of options, but if you are used to getting your energy from a big helping of pasta, you can still slurp noodles for supper. But instead of cooking up a sticky mess of wheat pasta, you can either take a fork to the inside of a spaghetti squash to pull out some comfortingly familiar strands of pasta-like goodness, or you can use the vegetable peeler on a zucchini to create your noodles. Either way, you can top off the plate with a raw tomato sauce with a healthy helping of garlic in it, and enjoy your familiar pasta meal.Remember, these are just three options for healthy raw energy. One of the keys to unlocking the potential of raw food energy is to find foods that you love to eat - no matter how much power they provide, you won’t get the benefits if you can’t stand to eat them. Experiment, and find what works for you.
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Raw Food Diet, Weight Loss, Eating for Energy