Raw Food: Trendy or Timely?

For the past several months I have been eating a raw food diet and feel absolutely fantastic! Not only do I not need my 10 hours of sleep every night and wake up feeling energetic and alive, but my hair is shiny, my skin is glowing and my husband says he has never seen me look better (good husbands are supposed to say that, right?!?) While I would never recommend that my clients or others adopt an all-raw diet unless they desire to lose a lot of weight and are ready to make the changes or if there is a severe medical reason where it might be helpful, I do encourage everyone to add more raw foods to their diets and at least add one green or other vegetable juice to their daily routine.

So, what exactly is raw food?
Don’t be intimidated by the label “raw food.” All raw food means is that it has not been cooked over 110 degrees. Does this mean you will be eating just “rabbit food” like carrots and lettuce all day? No! A raw food diet includes lots of fresh salads and other raw vegetables, fresh fruits, vegetable and fruit juices and raw nuts and seeds. If it sounds boring, it is not! While eating raw food, you can enjoy raw “pasta” with pesto, lasagna, “burgers”, soups, chocolate pudding, pumpkin pie and even raw ice cream! And, you will eat more than you have ever eaten before and will feel great! Believe me, you will not feel deprived!

Why eat raw?
The question really should be why not? Our ancestors ate primarily raw food and our bodies are not meant to digest the large quantities of cooked and processed foods that we are eating. In a nutshell, food in its raw state is made up of living enzymes. When we cook the food we are changing its molecular structure and destroying all or part of all the healthy nutrients. When you begin to eat raw, not only will you look and feel better but you will need less sleep and have more mental clarity and a deep sense of peace. Those who need to lose weight will naturally lose it and your body will begin to heal.

Is it necessary to eat all raw?
No! How much raw food you eat is a personal thing. I used to eat raw at least one meal and one snack a day but have recently begun to eat 80-90% raw with 2-3 cooked meals or snacks a week. Eating this way enables me to feel clean and light all week while still not feeling deprived when I go out with my husband or with friends. Do what is best for you and feels best. For most people I recommend that they just begin to have one large salad a day and integrate a green drink into their diet. This is a good place to start and in a few weeks I guarantee you will see a difference! After that I recommend that a few more raw meals are added into the week. Go slow and make the transition natural and gradual.

Where can I begin experimenting with raw food?
When you start experimenting with raw food, I suggest making it as easy as possible. Certainly experiment with making raw foods, but also pick it up prepared and try raw restaurants which will allow you to see the wide variety and possibilities eating raw.

There are a few places that sell raw food in their deli section. I recommendWesterly Market (54th and 8th Avenue.) Once you become familiar with their products, you can email them an order and they deliver! I also do raw food tours there and if you are interested please go to Raw Food Tour. There is also Lifethyme Market (6th Avenue, 7-8) Other than making salads, cooking raw can sometimes be intimidating if you are not used to it therefore there are a few places to take out food that I recommend to people who are interested in experimenting with it.

There are all sorts of wonderful restaurants In New York City and elsewhere where you can try raw food such as Pure Food and Wine (54 Irving Place),Quintessense (263 E. 10th Street), Bonobos (18 E. 23rd Street), Caravan of Dreams (405 E. 6th Street) and Raw Soul (348 W. 145th Street.) There is also a company that delivers boxes of raw food called Rawvolution.

How can I learn more about raw food?
There are several books on raw foods that I recommend. Please check them out if you want to learn more:
– Raw Food Detox Diet, Natalia Rose
– Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, Any Phyo
– The Raw 50, Carol Alt
– Rawvolution, Matt Amsden
– The Thrive Diet, Brendan Brazier (for athletes)
– Become Younger, Dr. Noman Walker

If you would like to go on a raw food diet and you feel like you need more personalized help, please contact me at >a href=”mailto:katherine@be-n-balance.com”>Katherine@be-n-balance.com for a consultation.

Raw “Burger”
For the raw burger:
– 2 stalks of celery
– 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
– 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
– 2 tbsps oregano
– 1/2 cup pecans
– 1 cup sunflower seeds
– 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
– 2 tbsps flax seed oil or coconut oil
– 1/2 tsp chili flakes or ground black pepper
– 1 tsp sea salt
For the bun:
– 2 portobello mushrooms (take off stem) or
2 slices of Manna Bread
Optional: Alta Dena “Cheddar cheese” and dijon mustard

Mix the burger ingredients in the food processor until well-blended. Process more or less depending if you want a course burger or a smooth consistency. Make mixture into patties with your hands and either place them in a dehydrator, or just serve raw. If you don’t have a dehydrator and would like to cook them a bit, then place them on the stovetop on very low heat for a few minutes. Serve with a slice of lettuce and tomato and place on either the manna bread or on the portobello mushroom “buns.” For those who love cheeseburgers, add a slice of Alta Dena “Cheddar Cheese” to the top. Delicious!

1 Comment

  • derrick
    July 29th, 2014 at 12:17 pm



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