Sunday, July 26, 2009

Raw Foods

The presentation I attended about the 7 balances or imbalances (maybe depends on how you look at it) of a healthy lifestyle will definitely be the source of many posts as I try to understand why I should be making certain changes. One of the things Dr. Judy Valentine spoke about was eating a raw food with every meal. It made me think about when I eat raw foods and how often.

I don't think I eat raw foods with breakfast, ever. Unless I count juice as a raw food, and I think that is cheating. Occasionally, and I mean occasionally, I will eat grapefruit on the weekend, but that is about it. I eat most raw foods with dinner, usually in the form of a salad or cut up vegetables.

In order to do a better job of eating raw foods, I need to understand why. I found two informative sites about this: Ten Advantages to Eating Raw and Why Eat Raw Food.

Of course we know that as we cook foods, such as vegetables, we cook away some of the important nutrients. But the second site I linked goes into detail about how we alter nutrients and how cooked foods lack enzymes, important players in absorbing nutrients. Other reasons explained are that raw foods contain oxygen, are easier to digest, are an environmentally friendly choice (encourages organic farming, less energy spent cooking, etc.), Some other interesting processes were explained that I would like to know more about. One was that green leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll which we know, but, what I didn't know is that chlorophyll resembles the hemoglobin in chemical structure. Chlorophyll is supposed to oxygenate the blood and detoxify the blood stream (this comes from Why Eat Raw Food). Is this true? I don't know.

So I looked up the benefits of chlorophyll. I found some websites that say that chlorophyll can actually prevent cancer. Interesting stuff, but it gets complicated because some sites suggest we need to ingest A LOT of green leafy vegetables to benefit and therefore should be taking supplements. This is where this information gets overwhelming... just how much time will I realistically take to weigh out whether or not I am eating enough of something, especially considering every bite of food has good parts, bad parts (pesticides on green leafy vegetables, extra cost of organic?).

But if I go back to the main idea of this post, eating raw foods, it seems simple enough. Eating raw foods is a good idea. Common sense tells me that it is probably true, I should vary my raw foods (color is a good way to do that) and I should make sure the raw foods are thoroughly washed. With this in mind, I will aspire to eat raw foods with every meal.

Some raw foods I enjoy are sliced and peeled cucumber, carrots (I prefer big carrots- more flavor), apples, tomatoes, and my favorite salad (spinach, apples, pine nuts, feta, carrots, balasmic dressing with olive oil, honey, oregano, salt and pepper).

Dr. Judy Valentine also spoke of other raw foods, such as nuts. She also explained that sauteing vegetables can count as raw foods if they are still crunchy.

Since last post:
Healthy Highlights: Resisted Mike and Ike temptation, went on a few walks, had lots of green tea and apples.
Areas of Improvement: Too many hotdogs, bag of Sunchips.

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