My third week of raw menus is finally posted. I tested all of the recipes except the Banana Creme Pie – I’m going to make that tomorrow, but it sure sounds good. I don’t know if I’m getting better at this whole raw-foods diet idea, or if my taste buds are getting sharper now that I’m not drowning them in animal fats, but these menus were really delicious! Even my husband was pleasantly surprised. One of the meals – the Gingered Carrot Coleslaw, he asked me several times, “are you sure this is good for you?” Because anything that’s good for you can’t possibly taste so good! Even if we someday give up eating raw foods, we’ll keep that recipe.
Using the Menus
I tried something different this time, too. I wrote out recipes, not just the menu suggestions, and I tried to put things in chronological order – because some recipes require advance preparation. For instance, to make almond milk, you need to soak the almonds for 12 hours before you puree them in the blender. So if you want almond milk on your cereal for breakfast, you need to set the almonds to soak the night before.
Finally, at the end I typed up a list of ingredients, but not quantities. It’s hard to figure how much you’ll need, because I don’t know how many people are in your family, or how hungry they are. If I suggest mangoes for breakfast, a child might eat only half of one, but a husband might eat two or three whole ones. Either is fine! With the raw foods diet, it is important to eat enough raw foods to fill you. Most of us think of a 10-oz cereal bowl full of lettuce for a serving of salad. But when you’re eating raw, and the salad is your whole meal not just a side-dish, you should think more of eating the entire head of lettuce yourself!
What to Eat on a Raw Food Diet
There is, of course, a lot of variety on the web of “how” to eat a raw food diet. Some sources say as long as it’s raw, it’s okay. Some say you shouldn’t eat potatoes, carrots, or beets which are “hybrid” vegetables. I wonder why they didn’t put corn on the list – isn’t that the most genetically altered vegetable on the planet? Other sources say to avoid spices, which are all slightly toxic and harmful for the digestive system. Other sources say to be sure to add avocados and olive oil to your diet, so you do have some source of fat, yet of course, other sources claim that most of us who transition to raw eat too much fats even in our raw diet. So, unless you want to get several degrees in nutrition and fitness, you just have to make a few decisions for yourself based on the best information you have available.
I suggest using your body as a guideline. I love garlic. I’ve always cooked with garlic, and I’ve read a lot about the health benefits of garlic. But when I put two cloves of raw garlic in one of this week’s recipes, I had a bellyache for 24 hours. I may try cutting the raw garlic down to a single clove, but if it happens again, I think I’ll cut raw garlic from my diet.
Women should consume 6 pounds of fruit, 2.5 pounds of vegetables, and 1/4 pound of nuts and seeds daily.
Men should consume a bit more – 7.5 pounds of fruit, 3 pounds of vegetables, and 1/3 pound of nuts or seeds daily.
A “fruit” is any food that has seeds. So while apples, pears and peaches are fruits, so are tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados. Avoid eating hybrid fruits that do not have seeds, like seedless watermelon. I’m not sure why folks recommend that, but if you are trying to eat a raw “living” foods diet, it would stand to reason that seedless watermelon cannot be a living food.
I’m learning that in the raw foods diet, all vegetables are great, but concentrate mostly on dark green leafy vegetables as they have the highest nutrient count. There is a wide variety – chard, collards, spinach, kale, and more. Lettuce should be leaf lettuce, not iceberg, which doesn’t have much for nutrients at all.
Chew Your Food Thoroughly
Many weight-loss programs also advise careful and thorough chewing of food, but for a different reason. If we eat too fast, our bellies are full before our brains realize it. Eat slower, and your brain can tell you when you’ve had enough, so you don’t overeat. Then I read that if you want to train yourself to eat slower, switch to chopsticks for now! Before you master the trick of chopsticks (unless you already know how to use them) you’ll have established the habit of slower eating and careful chewing.
I hope you enjoy this week’s menus! As an added bonus, I simply LOVE how much quicker most of these meals are to prepare. There are NO cooking dishes to scrub. No messy, greasy clean-up, no long-lasting food odors that hang in the air for days. And I feel so much better! Happy eating!