Monday, September 22, 2008

Practically Raw! Nutrition Talk Tidbits

Last Wednesday night I had the honor of speaking at Green Fields Market (my local food coop) on the topic of Practically Raw nutrition. We had a terrific turnout (24 enthusiastic, light-filled attendees) and it was so much fun to be together and talk about living the high raw lifestyle.

Following are a selection of Practically Raw ideas we covered in the talk. Try any that sound workable for you!

To begin, let's consider the phrase "Practically Raw!" As you may have guessed, it's intended as a triple entendre:
1) a diet that is made up in large part, but not necessarily entirely, of raw, living foods;
2) a practical approach to eating raw, living foods throughout the day; and
3) slightly cooked food (i.e. lightly steamed broccoli, which may retain a higher nutrient profile than boiled broccoli, as well as some live enzyme activity)

General Suggestions
• Consider eating "light to heavy" throughout the day, with the lightest food in the morning and the largest meal at dinner time. (Helps maintain energy and mental clarity during productive daylight hours; allows for relaxation and release later when needed. For most people, big breakfasts weigh you down!)
• Consider eating "raw till dinner" and have your soothing, cooked "comfort" foods at end of day (when you may need them most)
• Listen to your body! The goal of eating living foods is to optimize health, not get caught up in a food trip. Always be kind and non-judgmental with yourself (and others) around dietary choices.

Practically Raw Breakfast Ideas
• Make breakfast a living liquid meal: ginger-fruit smoothie, green smoothie or freshly pressed vegetable or veggie-fruit blend juice. (please email me for smoothie recipes!)
• During colder weather, eat an ounce or two or raw nuts with bananas and/or dried fruit in the AM to help warm and fulfill the body-mind-spirit complex (may enjoy this 30 minutes or more after juice)

Practically Raw Lunch Ideas
• Enjoy a large raw salad, topped with creamy avocado or a rich seed-based or nut-based cheese, paté or dressing.
• Have a large raw salad with EITHER a cooked protein (such as beans, hard-boiled eggs or sardines) or a cooked starch (such as brown rice or baked potato), or a yummy soup (raw blended veggie soup or cooked lentil, tomato-basil, pureed veggie, miso, etc.)
• Learn to make a great raw dressing using a base of approximately 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to 1 part lemon juice or Bragg's apple cider vinegar. Add garlic, herbs/spices, kelp powder, sea salt or miso, minced red onion, mustard powder, whatever you fancy!

Practically Raw Snack Ideas
• World's Healthiest Snack: raw veggies! Think baby carrots (great for the car and at work), celery, snow peas, etc. May sprinkle with Spike or Old Bay seasoning, or for a treat, enjoy with raw goat cheese.
• Sweet Treat: a piece or fresh fruit OR a few pieces of dried fruit with a handful raw nuts OR a handful of raw nuts with a cup of herbal tea (Suggestion: eat fresh fruit half hour before meals or several hours after, on an empty stomach.)
• Savory Snack: raw flaxseed crackers (like those from Foods Alive!, which were sampled at the talk - many delicious flavors to choose from) or make your own in the dehydrator. (Once you have a dehydrator, this becomes a very easy and practical thing to make.) May spread with raw nut butter or tahini.

Practically Raw Dinner Ideas
• Feeling adventuresome? Try making a delectable (but still practical!) raw dinner such as beet rawviolis with pine nut ricotta (see Euphoric Organics link at right for recipe). Or wrap anything in a nori sheet for instant sushi! Sea veggies are great for alkalizing your blood and supporting healthy thyroid function, lipid & blood sugar levels and smooth digestion.
• Whip up an easy raw dish such as vegetable spaghetti strands created in the spiralizer from fresh zucchini or sweet potato (this stuff is amazing!). Top with cooked or raw tomato sauce, fresh pesto or a creamy, blended nut-cheese sauce. Raw veggie pasta is a surprisingly easy and quick meal to prepare, and will be different every time depending on the sauce you create and the veggies you use for the pasta.
• Old Standby: Salad + large dish of lightly steamed veggies, topped with flaxseed oil and sea salt, or tomato sauce and raw goat cheese
• Comfort Meal: Baked sweet potatoes (I love Garnet Yams best) with green salad and lightly steamed veggies
• Fish Dinner: enjoy baked or pan-fried wild-caught fish or indoor-farmed fish (e.g. catfish or Australis barramundi) served with large raw salad and/or a generous serving of lightly steamed or roasted veggies, seasoned to taste

Practically Raw Dessert Ideas
• Raw Cacao! Try the whole bean, or make some homemade avocado-cacao pudding or raw chocolate with raw cacao powder + coconut butter + raw honey or agave. You can also purchase real, live raw chocolates (like the amazing hearts from Sacred Chocolate - 19 flavors to choose from!) - a fabulous treat.
• Brown rice cakes or Dr. Krackers (100% spelt crackers) spread with raw nut butter or tahini + raw honey
• 70%+ Dark Chocolate (Divine, Green & Black, etc.). Not raw, but easy enough to come by, and a fine finish to any meal!

Have fun experimenting, and please be in touch with any questions or comments! (P.S. Gourmet chefs: check out for incredible recipes!)

Yours in health and joyful service,


Sandra said...

Thanks for the good information, Diana! Please send me your smoothie recipes:

Thank you.

Juliet and Winkie said...

I love your blog!!