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So what’s the big deal about ‘Raw’ anyway?

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By Amanda Daley

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Should you be jumping on the bandwagon with the celebs? Or is this just another diet fad?

Raw vegan restaurants are very hip places to eat in at the moment. Certainly this is what I’m finding as I travel through Los Angeles. There are tones of restaurants that cater to raw food diet in this city. And this suits me perfectly as I’m currently doing a raw detox.

This evening I treated myself and dined at a fabulous place called ‘Euphoria Loves Rawvolution’ .  If you’ve never eaten at a raw foods restaurant let me share with you the type of choices you can expect to see on the menu.  I ordered a ‘supreme’ which consisted of a  housemade chilli Ancho wrap with caulihemp rice, walnut taco meat, guacamole, salsa and oregano cheese. As I’m obsessed with seeing what else can possibly be made without sugar, dairy or grains, I gave in to ordering a ginger, lemon cheesecake.

Despite being raw the food was incredibly tasty. Raw chefs are coming up with some amazing ways to use raw ingredients, including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Raw food is food that is un-cooked, meaning it has never been heated above 115degF/45degC.  When eating ‘raw’ all of the precious enzymes and nutritional goodies are left fully intact.

If a raw diet sounds like something you’d like to try, here are some tips to get you started.

Add in more raw food to your existing diet Instead of trying to go hardcore raw, a much better idea is to see how many ways you can ‘add’ in more raw food to your existing diet. For optimal vibrancy a good goal is to aim to eat between 40-80% raw foods.

Occasionally try one week of eating 100% Raw food This can be a very powerful detox and is effective in rebooting your system.

Finding the right balance There are stories around of extreme Raw Food ‘Junkies’ who have become ‘permanently high’ from only eating raw food. Cooked food will keep you grounded and centered and it’s important to find the right balance for you.

Popularity factor aside, there are both pros and cons of eating a raw vegan diet that you need to consider.

Pros:

  • Greatly improved energy
  • Huge increase in important vitamins, minerals, fibre and good fats
  • No processed or refined foods
  • Variety and creativity of interesting new recipes
  • Eating an apple or banana on the run could not be easier to prepare
  • No fear of contamination from animal products
  • Improved digestion and clearer skin
  • Works well in warm climates

Cons:

  • The best flavours and textures of food often come out in the cooking
  • Low in Vitamin D, Calcium and Protein
  • Labour intensive once you get into sprouting and dehydrating
  • Buying pre-prepared raw food products is VERY expensive (& not readily available in most parts of the world)
  • Unless you live in LA or NY, eating out can be difficult.
  • Can be hard to digest if you’re digestion is not strong – especially in colder weather.

Unlike other fad diets the benefits of eating raw can’t be overlooked. I don’t know if it was the food, the location, the live music or the result of my detox, but my energy is at an all time high. Now that is definitely fuel worth taking note of!

Here’s an easy tasty raw recipe for you to try at home.

Raw Zucchini Fettucini Recipe

Ingredients:

2 x Zucchini

Himilayan Rock Salt

2 large tomatoes

1 red capsicum

¼ cup Olive Oil

Basil and Oregano (fresh or dried)

Nutritional Yeast (or Parmesan Cheese)

Method:

  1. Peel the zucchini into ‘fettucini’ style strips with a vege peeler.
  2. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and set aside to ‘cook’.
  3. In a high-speed blender, blend the tomatoes, capsicum, olive oil and herbs until it becomes a warm, smooth, sauce. (if your blender does not get very hot, you could gently warm the sauce on the stovetop after blending?
  4. Blot dry the zucchini strips and then serve them up with the sauce on top.
  5. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast over the top and garnish with your favourite fresh herbs.

* In winter I often slightly cook my zucchini in a pot of boiling water and heat the sauce in the saucepan too. Give both a try and see find what works for you.

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Amanda Daley - to view all of Amanda's blog post click here

Experiencing Adrenal Fatigue after 13 years in the corporate world of advertising, Amanda surrendered from the fast-paced life and followed her passion instead. A myriad of health conditions fell away as soon as stress was eliminated and a renewed sense of passion and purpose sprung forth. She now works as a Holistic Health Coach, helping busy women fuel their lives with health, passion and joy.

Website: http://fuelurbanwellness.com

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