Welcome our guest blogger for today, Maria Rainier.
As a kid, the last thing I wanted for a snack was carrot sticks or peanut butter on celery, and my daily diet consisted mostly of white rice and chocolate. I’m the last person you’d think would advocate adding more raw food into your diet.
Twenty-something years later, I repeatedly surprise my mother with how many vegetables I can eat without succumbing to a gag reflex. This is because I’ve learned that we are what we eat. How can we look good without feeling good?
The short answer is that we can’t, not really. Raw food is one of the healthiest things you can consume. Vegetables, fruits, seeds, sprouts, legumes (beans), nuts, and seaweed contain the most enzymes and nutrients when not cooked over 116 degrees Fahrenheit, which means a healthier digestive tract, stronger immune system, brighter complexion, greater energy, and lower risk of cancer and heart disease than a predominantly processed-food-centric diet.
I won’t be giving up my garlic and oil pasta or Camembert cheese anytime soon, but you don’t have to go totally raw to get more nutritional benefits. Simply incorporating any (or all!) of these 6 habits can help you feel and look healthier than ever before.
Go to your local farmers’ market and buy whatever veggies and fruits that are in season. This way, you support your local economy and the environment, and you’ll see the colors change on your plate as the seasons turn.
Invest in a juicer (or dust off the old blender) so you can start off every day with a homemade fruit smoothie. Add strawberries, bananas, blueberries—whatever you can find in season at your local farmers’ market—for a tall glass of juice. Add some flax seeds for fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Better yet, start every meal raw with a vegetable or fruit salad. Don’t be afraid to toss a few fruits into your spinach salad—strawberries or oranges make great additions. Add nuts like slivered almonds or—if you’re not full-raw, like I’m not—add some bleu cheese crumbles. Avocados also add great taste, texture, and nutrients to any salad.
Add more vegetables to sandwiches, wraps, and cold pasta salads. This doesn’t mean adding lettuce to your Subway sandwich—lettuce is mostly water! Instead, think diced tomatoes and spinach, slivered carrots, slices of cucumbers, avocado paste, and the like. Toss all the above into a soft tortilla wrap and drizzle with a vinaigrette or spicy peanut sauce.
Get to know your freezer. Buy produce in bulk if they’re on sale at the market, wash and cut them up, and freeze them (especially if they’re organic) if you know you won’t be able to eat them before they spoil. You can make yourself an afternoon fruit slushie snack when the mood strikes you.
Keep yourself interested. Raw food doesn’t have to be as boring as having Caesar salad every day at lunch. Look up recipes and blogs for raw foodies and interact in the community to harvest and spread new ideas.
About Author: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s been researching the best paying jobs with a bachelor’s degree along with what are some of the lowest paying jobs on the market. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Blogging since 2008, Evelyn shares healthy living tips and inspiration. Evelyn holds a M.S. degree in biology from Tennessee Technological University and she obtained an Eating Psychology Coaching Certification from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Learn more about Evelyn by visiting the About Page. Join Evelyn's Mailing List to receive Blog Post Updates and News by submitting the Sign-up Form. You can find Evelyn on Twitter, Google Plus, and You Tube. Stay connected!
Thanks for all the great tips on eating raw foods! I especially appreciated you encouraging shopping at local farmers markets!
Foods from farmers markets are usually even better for our health as they are fresher!
And as you mentioned it is healthier for our environment to choose local foods.
Farmers market is an excellent idea to get fresh and cheap vegetables, and you get so many different types of vegetables there, some of which you might not even know. I make regular visits to my local farmers market and i do blog about it as well.
Raw foods were always my favorite, carrots were my favorites even when i was a child. I remember to eat a carrot raw almost everyday, however i have lost that habit somehow, time to get hold of that habit again. However, am sure you would agree that raw foods like, coconut, honey, sprouted pulses - add a bit of lemon and salt ;) tastes great, nuts are great anyway...
Great post! The smoothies for breakfast are a great idea and inspired me to get myself a new blender. I have to admit I wasn't the biggest fan of vegetables a couple of years ago, but since I've become more creative in varying and mixing vegetables for salads, I've made salads a part of my daily routine.
I actually found a little treat that is also raw AND vegan! For anybody who likes the little chocolate treat here and there, there is this great Organic Raw Vegan Chocolate. I was skeptical at first, but it is absolutely delicious!
So raw doesn't always have include veggies and fruits only! ;)
Thos are some great tips on getting more raw foods into your diet. You get way more nutrients when the food is raw. I agree with you on shopping at farmers markets it is better for our health to eat foods in our locale.
Nice Blog with good information in fact this is first time i am reading a blog where some one actually speaking about eating because most of the health blog talks about diet, nice information
Thanks so much for the positive feedback guys! It's great to see such enthusiasm for both raw foods as well as for supporting the local farmers market. Here where I live we have a wonderful local outdoor market open 7 days a week. In the coming months it will be in full force too - can't wait. :) It's astonishing how crowded it gets in the summer - feels more like a rock concert than a place to buy veggies. (And sometimes there are even live musicians playing music there, too.)
Every so often I break out the juicer go for it. For me carrots and cucumbers seem to be the staple of any juicing I do. I also through in some "garlic", thats right, it ads a tartness to the juice and I just know its super healthy.
As a side note, raw and/or lots of vegetables/fruits do wonders for your intestines, I won't go any further but you get the idea!
For me carrots and cucumbers seem to be the staple of any juicing I do.
It’s great to see such enthusiasm for both raw foods as well as for supporting the local farmers market.So thanks for this post,Good luck!
Hi Sean! Carrots tend to get more juicer action than anything else in my home too. I love cucumbers as well - so refreshing tasting! What I don't like is when they get all stringly inside my juicer though. ;)
Thanks for reading!
Great article but I missed one thing. I think it is very important that we try to use organic products, It's better for our health and for Mother Nature.
* Food produced organically is free of additives, artificial preservatives and colors.
* Organic food is produced without the use of pesticides. This makes the biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Pesticides can be harmful to human health and wildlife because they contaminate our water, food and air and accumulate in our cells. Exposure poses special concerns for children because of their high metabolisms and low body weights.
* Organically produced food is free from synthetic growth or breeding hormones and therefore reduces human exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
* Organic produced food has higher nutritional value and better taste. Contains more of the essential nutrients as iron, folic acid, vitamins A B C and D. Researches also show that organically-produced foods are higher in antioxidants and other nutrients than their conventional counterparts (unrefined products).
* Farmers that grow organically are not exposed to pesticides. The quality of life for farmers and society as a whole enhances.
* Organic philosophy means raising animals in harmony with nature
Be yourself and be happy, never stop dreaming!
Happy Natural Life,
Lately I invested in a juicer with which I make myself some mandarin juice that helps me get on my feet when feeling weak or [almost] sick. Also, lately, I've been trying to eat as much raw foods as possible, keeping my body healthy and just taking much care of myself. Raw foods is the answer !
Thanks for this great article, keep up the good work!
I tried eating sandwiches with lots of vegetables. Actually, I have my own vegetable garden in our backyard so I can have freshly picked vegetables anytime I want. This can also help me cut my costing for our food. Living healthy while saving money!
[...] definitely fit into your diet.7. Cucumbers You should really think about adding a few slices of cucumber to your next salad. Although they are composed mainly of water, their inner flesh also contains a [...]
Farmers market is the best place to get fresh vegetables and any other food, I go for organic as well but organic foods are a bit expensive. The farmers also try not to douse the products with fertilizers, pesticides and chemicals so their products are safer.