Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Raw Foods

Many nutritionists and food researchers believe that going on a raw foods diet can decrease the size of and even eliminate cancer tumors. This requires a radical shift to your diet, and even way of life.

I am looking forward to participating in a 7-day raw foods workshop in January. At that point, I will weigh in on my thoughts on the topic. In the meantime, however, it is hard for me to imagine that it cannot help to be eating an abundance of raw foods. If raw foods consist of 80% of your diet, it will make a huge difference in both fighting and preventing cancer, not to mention making you feel fresh, energetic, and healthy.

Vegetables in their raw form are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. Live food also contains enzymes, which both help your body absorb nutrients (instead of turning to your body's enzyme reserve), and are catalysts for detoxification.  Cooking food decreases the nutritional value of most foods, and also has a more depleting effect on the body as it uses the body's existing (and finite) enzyme reserve.

Here are some raw foods that you probably already eat, and can increase in your diet!

-Salads: greens, an abundance of cut vegetables and fruits on top
-Pesto, with basil and raw nuts and olive oil
-Crudité: a platter of cut carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, or peppers with a vinaigrette
-Massaged Kale Salad: Remove kale from stems and chop, massage for a few minutes with olive oil and salt.
-Bowl of raw nuts, covered in spices
-Add raw veggies as a side to an already healthy dinner

Sliced avocado, garden cherry tomatoes, and basil & almond pesto are tasty raw additions 
to a home-cooked dinner of pasta and roasted acorn squash.

Many dishes and meals can be enhanced by adding raw ingredients, and there are also thousands of recipes out there for preparing purely raw foods. A few great links include Raw Guru and Gone Raw.  Both have recipes, sources for ingredients, and helpful information.

(Almost) Raw Pad Thai
Adapted from "Appetite for Reduction" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
There is no cooking with this! Simply roast the peanuts in your toaster oven. Otherwise, it just involves chopping and your food processor.

First, prepare the easy dressing:

Peanut-Lime Dragon Dressing
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp. chopped shallot
-Pulse in food processor until well chopped

Then add the following, and pulse until smooth (4 minutes; scrape down sides a few times)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. Agave nectar
2 Tbsp. Tamari (soy sauce)
1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno or Sriracha pepper

-Add 2 Tbsp more peanuts and pulse until chopped, not finely blended

(dressing can last 5 days in fridge in sealed glass container, if you don't use it for the pad thai.)

Pad Thai Salad
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups bean sprouts
1 small red onion, or a green onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
half a bag of Rice Sticks (found in the Asian section of Whole Foods)--Optional
1 recipe Peanut-lime Dragon Dressing
-Soak the Rice Sticks in hot water for 10 minutes (if you choose to use them)
-Combine above ingredients

Serve with:
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

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