Written and compiled by Lori Jo and published on the Advantage Wellness Management Inc. blog, websites, and all their social medias but the company has since closed due to new health reform laws so I am publishing the work here as an example of my published work.
Recipe by Lori Jo
Photos by Lori Jo
I have noticed a big trend towards various health food eating styles. If you read blogs, surf the Internet, read health or fashion magazines or even play around in Pinterest you cannot help but notice this. One of the most fascinating health trends is the raw (or living) foods movement. They say you are what you eat and in this case, raw foods have a very strong case because you are eating pure living energy*. They say after eating raw for a while your complexion takes on a healthy glow and this they call “the raw food glow”.I first noticed this glow on a fashion model during an interview while shopping in an organic food market. She was buying fresh fruits and vegetables and echoed the familiar adage to the interviewer “you are what you eat.” She added that if you eat big greasy fries, then that is what will show on the outside. She was a perfect example of health and vitality, the result of living a healthy lifestyle. Her diet was primarily a diet of raw living foods she said.
The most important health aspect of eating raw or living foods is the enzyme preservation. Enzymes help you digest food and act as catalysts for every metabolic reaction in your body. Cooking foods above 118° destroys their natural enzymes, which forces our bodies to generate the necessary enzymes to digest them. Your body cannot produce the perfect enzyme mix that are naturallypresent in uncooked food which results in partially digested fats, proteins, and starches that can clog your body’s digestive track and arteries. Raw foods experts believe that eating cooked foods depletes our finite enzyme reserve, which means that in old age you will have only one-thirteenth the enzyme activity level that you had when you were 18.
Raw food preparation includes techniques such as juicing, blending and dehydrating.There are two juicing methods, squeezing as you would oranges, or for extracting juice from vegetables such as carrots and beets in a juicing machine. The juicing machine will extract the juice, leaving the tough fibers behind in the filter. You will need a juicing machine for things like carrots, etc. Blending is for making salsas and sauces, which requires a food processor or blender. Dehydration is for making dried fruits and crunchy crackers, chips and bread-type items without cooking. A dehydrator will remove the water but the food enzymes stay intact.
The only drawback when eating raw is it is more expensive and more time consuming, but the payoff makes it well worth it. When eating raw, the foods must be seasonal, very fresh, and organic and of course thoroughly cleaned, rinsed and dried. As always, wash your hands thoroughly before touching any food and use a clean cutting board. If you want to clean your vegetables extra well use a little white vinegar in the water, this will help remove dirt, dust, wax, and some bacteria.
There has been some concern regarding e. coli after an outbreak in Germany caused by contaminated raw sprouts. The e. coli bacteria should always be considered prior to raw food use. Washing will not get rid of the e. coli bacteria, only cooking will. The foods listed as high risk are as follows: undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized (raw) milk and juice, soft cheeses made from raw milk, and raw fruits and vegetables (such as sprouts). If you have a weakened immune system, you may want to consult with a doctor regarding raw foods.The decision on whether to include raw meat or fish into a raw food diet is a personal one. Some raw food purists say no and some are more relaxed. As always, with raw meat and fish, one has to be very careful of parasites and taking care in how the food is prepared, cured and served.
Nuts and can be germinated or soaked before eating; again, it all depends on the person, the recipe and their raw foods beliefs. Soaking helps to stimulate germination and bring the seed to life, makes it easier to digest and increases its available energy. This method can also enhance flavor or texture. If you chose to soak your raw food, soak them in water a few hours or overnight before using.
I got inspired a few years ago when I ate at my first raw restaurant and had raw pizza, salad and a bit of my husband’s lasagna. It was extremely delicious and tasty, and I did not miss the lactose products at all. The salad was so delicious and satisfying I will use it as inspiration for the salad below. I do not eat 100% raw but I have increased my raw food consumption considerably and I always feel great and look great after eating this way.
Savory Mixed Salad with Pesto
- 1 handful Escarole lettuce (if you cannot find it chose whatever organic, fresh, in season lettuce mix you want to use), cleaned, dried and torn up in bite sided pieces
- 1 handful Arugula
- Purple cabbage, sliced very thinly
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
- 1 avocado sliced
- ½ tomato, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 5 sundried tomatoes
- ¼ cup blonde raisons
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 handful basil leaves, cleaned and dried
- 2 handful walnuts or pine nuts
- Extra virgin olive oil, enough for the vinaigrette and the pesto
- 2 large garlic clove, chopped finely
- Juice of 1 lemon, remove a little of the zest from the skin first and set aside, you will add both to the pesto.
- Apple cider vinegar for the vinaigrette
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, add this to the pesto, to the salad after as well as the vinaigrette
If you have been reading my previous articles there was one recipe called, Lemon Pesto Salmon. This pesto is the same but we will not toast the nuts and we will not use cheese in the pesto sauce.
- In a food processor, process together the garlic, basil, nuts, olive oil, lemon and lemon zest with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper and process until it is roughly processed. You don’t want to pulverize it – leave a little texture. If it’s too thick, add more olive oil or even more lemon juice if you like it super lemony
For salad dressings, I like to use the Jamie Oliver method with his jam jar dressings. Use an old jam jar and the following proportions. This is a classic one because the salad has a lot of flavors going on. But free to experiment with other salads and have fun! You can add honey or mustard or even fruit, there are so many variations on the classic vinaigrette.
- 3 parts extra virgin olive oil
- 1 part vinegar or lemon juice (use whatever you have on hand or prefer)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- All you have to do to prepare is put all the ingredients into a large, non-metallic bowl.
- Take the pesto out with a spoon and dab dollops of it in various places over the top and mix gently
- Garnish with the seeds and a little of the shredded cheese
- Drizzle the dressing on top
- Add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Mix one last time and serve immediately, fresh and cool
*DISCLAIMER: The author’s is expressing the value of these foods based on current and historical studies. All caution should be taken to fully clean food before intake. Any medical problems should be discussed with your physician prior to eating raw food.
- Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein.RAW. Berkeley: 10 Speed Press
- Food Safety Gov. “E. coli”. <http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/ecoli/index.html>
- Oliver, Jamie. “Jam Jar Dressings.” http://www.Jamie Oliver.com.