Admit it. You KNOW it’s on your mind…that nagging annual remorse centered on end of year festivities – indulging (and imbibing), weight gain, pop dieting and the dreaded New Year’s resolution that never seems to stick. You just can’t shake it. Honestly, all that guilt is probably a good thing if the Top 20 Holiday Snacks list has almost replaced your regular meals entirely. We’re not saying that’s a bad thing. All those cheese plates, spreads and dips were certainly a better alternative to most of the carb and sugar loading. But the salt! My blood pressure is boiling already. You? Why not love yourself better and get back on track with healthier eating now? And why not make it easy? Make it delicious. No pressure!
Here at Gia On The Move we are in love with “raw foods”. So when we got these tips and recipes forwarded to us from Omega Nutrition and Excaliber companies, we definitely needed to share.
To reduce intake of processed food, incorporating natural and/or raw foods into your diet can improve health and aid in weight loss. While changing aspects of your current diet can seem a bit intimidating, taking small and simple steps to include raw fruits and vegetables into any meal can be easy and yes, even fun, with the right kitchen tools.
Below are a few tips to effectively start a raw food diet.
Change Your Mind Set – Many people think of starting a diet as being deprived of tasty foods. However, incorporating raw foods into your meals is about taking steps to increase vitality and feed your body the fuel it needs to get and stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables taste good and are packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Think of including eating raw ingredients into your meals as a pleasurable experience that is both delicious and satisfying.
Planning and Preparation – Be prepared to be a bit frustrated in the beginning. Your mind and body need time to process the change. Research raw food recipes (two provided below) and create grocery lists accordingly. To fulfill your urge to eat when traveling or running errands, keep raw snacks at your disposal such as raw nuts, fruit or baby carrots.
Get a Healthy Kitchen – Stocking your kitchen with the necessary cooking and preparation tools is an essential step in sticking to a healthy eating regimen. You may already own an immersion blender or steamer, which can be resourceful tools to puree soups or lightly cook vegetables. However, if you’re looking to get creative with your raw dishes, a food dehydrator or masticating style juicer are great ways to whip up exciting creations that harness the most nutrients and vitamins possible. From making homemade nut butters, nut milks, fruit and veggie juices and more, Omega’s Nutrition Centers are a versatile tool for transforming raw foods into culinary creations. Excalibur’s units on the other hand, help you re-create store bought favorites such as granola, yogurt and fruit leathers, right in your own home. These commercial grade units (now available to consumers) are making it easy and fun to create healthy meals at home
Join a Community – Whether it’s gathering a group of friends to take a trip to the farmer’s market or joining online communities via Facebook or forums, enlist the help and support of others on your journey to eat healthier.
Dining Out – Eating raw doesn’t have to alienate you from your friends and family. You can still enjoy meals out at restaurants. Be sure to check the menu prior to attending a restaurant to plan your meal options. Salad is always one of the safest choices if you are not eating at a strictly raw or vegan restaurant. Ask servers to hold the egg or cheese on salads.
***Always consult a physician prior to making major diet changes.
Tasty Raw Recipes
Raw Veggie Burger
Moderate | Time: 6 hours | Servings: 3-5
- 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts (hemp seeds)
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans
- 1/4 cup ground Flax Seeds
- 3/4 cup finely chopped Veggies (combination of celery, onion, fresh parsley, and/or red pepper – some of each is best, but ratio does not matter)
- 2 tbsp ground Chia Seeds
- 1 tbsp Water
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp dried Dill (optional)
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- 1 set Paraflexx Sheets
- Add all ingredients except hemp hearts and veggies to your food processor
- Process until well mixed and transfer into a large bowl
- Add remaining ingredients to mixture in the large bowl
- Mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined
- Line your Excalbiur Food Dehydrator trays with paraflexx sheets
- Form patties with your hands, similar to burger patties – about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
- Place on trays so patties do not touch each other
- Dehydrate on highest temperature for 1.5 hours
- Reduce heat to 125 degrees F and dehydrate for another 5 hours
- Once burger patties are holding together and firming nicely, remove paraflexx, and continue dehydrating until they reach desired veggie burger consistency
Servings : 2
Prep Time : 5m
Cook Time : 5m
Ready In : 5m
- dash of ground dried Basil
- 1/2 head of medium Cauliflower
- 1 Cucumber
- 2 cups of Cherry Tomatoes
Step 1: Wash produce well
Step 2: Juice all ingredients except for basil in your Omega Juicer
Step 3: Add basil and mix well
Step 4: Serve and enjoy!
Step 5: If you would prefer your juice warm, in a small pot add juice and basil. Steep for an hour for a warm, pizza-like drink. Mix well and enjoy!
More information on the above highlighted raw food tools:
Omega Nutrition Center 800 and 900. Nutrition Centers are masticating style juice extractors that have the ability to juice at low speeds to minimize heat build-up and oxidation that destroy nutrients. The machine is engineered with powerful components that can easy extract juice from wheatgrass and leafy vegetables. Nutrition Centers are not just for juicing; they turn nuts into nut butter, extrude pasta, grind coffee and spices, mince herbs and garlic, make baby food, and whip up soy milk in a flash. $379.95
Dehydrating offers a better way to dry and preserve food while maintaining vitamin content and antioxidants. Excalibur Dehydrators, offers commercial-grade results. Equipped with patented Parallex™ Horizontal Air Flow and Hyperwave™ Fluctuation Technology, Excalibur allows the most efficient heating and drying combination on the market. Additionally, its adjustable Thermostat (95◦F to 155◦F) keeps the temperature range low enough to preserve active enzymes but high enough to meet safety standards for dehydrating meat products. Available in 4,5,9 and 10 Tray. Price range: $129.00 – $999.95
Photo (above): RawFoodRecipes.com