So many stars are doing the raw food diet, but stepping into this specific eating plan takes some basic common sense and good advice from nutritionists who know what works and how to prepare foods that will agree with each person’s needs.
Dr. Barry Lomax, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and a Certified Nutritionist on staff at the Beneveda Medical Group in Beverly Hills, CA.
Dr. Lomax is a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He practices Traditional Naturopathy with a focus on whole foods nutrition, whole foods supplements, traditional herbal medicine, and the Nature Cure Method, involving the use of live foods, herbs, whole food supplements, sun, air, water, exercise, sleep, hygiene, mind/body/spirit/ medicine, counseling and hydrotherapy.
As a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Lomax utilizes conventional and alternative diagnostics and has access to a large array of conventional and natural treatments.
Dr. Lomax has provided Monsters and Critics with his recommended top 10 ways to stay healthier with uncooked foods.
Stars such as Demi Moore, Sting, Angela Basset, Woody Harrelson, David Bowie, Robin Williams and chef Charlie Trotter all are “raw celebrities,” whose zeal for the unique approach to eating has sparked great interest in the general public.
Celebrity aside, here’s a plain and simple truth: Raw food contains more nutrients than cooked and processed foods. That means bite for bite, your body gets more energy from a fresh salad than the equivalent amount of cooked peas.
FACT: Foods that are cooked, or heated above 105 degrees, diminish or eliminate vital energy-producing elements like enzymes, oxygen, hormones, phytochemicals that your cells crave.
Salads are great sources of raw food energy but by no means the only ones. Below are 10 tips for eating uncooked in other ways that are deliciously easy.
Avoid pesticide residue whenever possible by selecting organic, natural produce and always wash it vigorously for 10 seconds under cool tap water, or spraying it with a simple solution of 2 cups water and two teaspoons vinegar to help eliminate any lingering bacteria or other contaminants.
But don’t wash the produce until you’re ready to use it; washing before storage causes the produce to spoil more quickly.
1. Raw Vegetables: Beyond leafy salads, think of having at least a handful of raw vegetables with lunch and dinner. See recipe below for a super-quick-to-make, scrumptious dipping sauce for carrot and celery sticks or slices of raw cucumber, zucchini or red pepper.
2. Soups From Scratch: Soup made from scratch tastes wonderful and just because it’s raw doesn’t mean that it has to be eaten cold. Dr. Lomax’s easy-to-make recipe (below) for a Raw Mediterranean Soup can be served room temperature or warmed up a touch.
3. Fresh Fruit: Now that it’s summer, there’s no excuse for not having a piece of raw fruit for breakfast, snack or a dinnertime dessert. Plums, pears, berries, apricots, apples and melons are available now everywhere. Or try something more exotic like a ripe and succulent pineapple, mango or papaya. Squeeze a little lime juice in melons to give it a tart edge.
4. Super-Smoothies: Another option is to include a raw smoothie with breakfast or any other meal. Better tasting and better for you than a milk shake, they’re so easy to make. See recipe for SuperFood Smoothie.
5. Raw Dairy: If you use dairy products, you may want to consider buying raw grass -fed dairy products, as they offer much greater health benefits and none of the negative health effects of commercial pasteurized and homogenized dairy products. However, always buy raw dairy products from a supplier you know you can trust. Here’s where you can get more information about finding reputable raw dairies in your area: http://www.realmilk.com.
6. Sprouted Foods: Adding some sprouted foods to your daily diet is another good habit. The nutrient content of seeds, grains and beans increases when they are sprouted. The proteins, fats and carbohydrates found in sprouted foods are more easily digested than their non sprouted form. If you eat grains, you may want to consider using them in a sprouted form such as Ezekiel-brand bread.
7. Fermented Foods: Fermented foods have enzymatic activity, help with digestion and help create the proper balance of flora, which can improve the immune system and overall health. Some fermented foods to consider including in your diet are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, poi, raw apple cider vinegar, natto, sour cream, buttermilk, sourdough bread and rejuvelac.
8. Superfoods: Superfoods are any food that is very nutrient dense. Often these are wild harvested foods that have not been genetically modified and mass produced, so they still have a high content of nutrients and vitality. Whenever possible eat these foods fresh. Some examples are wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, kelp, bee pollen, acai, mangosteen, goji berries, camu camu berries, maca, nettles, dandelion greens, cod liver oil, colostrum, elderberry, alfalfa, schizandra, and mushrooms like reishi, shiitake, maitake, agaricus and cordyceps. See recipe below for Super Smoothie and Raw Three Mushroom Sauce.
9. Nuts & Seeds: Yes, nuts of all kinds make fast, nutritious and delicious snack foods. But try grinding raw nuts and seeds in a food processor as the basis for a salad dressing (just add your favorite oil, vinegar and spices).
10. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain immune-building substances. So throw them in a raw soup or on a salad. Or, use the recipe below on “veggie pasta,” such as spaghetti squash or peeled zucchini cut into long strips with a vegetable peeler.
Courtesy of Dr. Lomax, bonus recipes:
Creamy Cilantro Vegetable Dipping Sauce
1 3/4 cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers or cucumbers.
Raw Mediterranean soup
2 cups of spring water
1 cup of organic tomatoes, regular size or cherry tomatoes. I prefer heirloom roma tomatoes
1 organic orange or red pepper. You can use green or yellow peppers too but I find the flavor of the orange and red to be best for this soup.
4 whole cremini mushrooms or 1/8 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms
1 or two cloves of fresh garlic
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of black pepper, cayenne and oregano
1/8 cup of dried dulse seaweed
Top with a sprinkle of raw Pecorino cheese
Cut the tomatoes and pepper into small pieces and mix all of the ingredients in a Vitamix or other high powered blender for about 1 minute. You can adjust the blending time to suit your preferred texture. If you want to warm up the soup below a temperature that will destroy enzymes, you can run the blender for 4 or 5 minutes. Serves two.
Super Smoothie Recipe
As a base use raw organic milk, kefir or colostrums. You can also use fresh coconut water with coconut meat or organic canned coconut milk.
You can also use homemade nut or seed milk, processed almond milk is not as good but is another option.
½ cup of fresh or frozen organic or wild blueberries, strawberries or raspberries
1 teaspoon of Healthforce Vitamineral Greens
1 teaspoon of Healthforce Superfruit powder
1 scoop of Garden of Life Raw Sprouted Whole Food Protein Powder
Blend all of the ingredients together. Add one or two leaves of fresh kale, most likely you won’t notice the taste. For flavor you can add 1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder. For more ideas on adding superfoods to your smoothie, see the following websites Sunfoodnutrition.com, Rawguru.com
Raw Three-Mushroom Sauce
1 cup Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1/2 cup Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh Oyster mushrooms
3/4 cup Walnuts or Pine nuts, soaked 8-10 hours
3 cloves Garlic
splash of Olive Oil
freshly ground Pepper
Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water (just to cover) for 15-20 minutes. Put all ingredients in a high-speed blender including the mushroom soaking liquid and blend until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.
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