This Meatless Monday, skip the cooking along with the carne and eat your fruits and vegetables raw.
Many plant foods are rich in nutrients, full of fiber and low in fat and sugars. The raw state actually has more nutritional value than cooked with studies showing that eating raw vegetables helps reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Read more here and here.
The uncooked food movement is catching fire. Fans rave that raw foods help improve health, pointing to the benefits of weight loss, more energy, and clearer skin.
Oye, I dig the benefits and I like the idea of putting away my skillet. But uncooked?
Yup. I decided to be your guinea pig and last week ate my meals raw by following a diet of uncooked, unprocessed food including fruits, vegetables, nuts, sprouts, and seeds.
The transition was difícil--nothing cooked meant adios to my staple foods of sweet potato, pasta, rice, and tortillas. But I quickly adapted, finding that the more raw foods I ate (and not just salad), the more I craved them. After a few days, I felt satisfied and energized, even keeping up with my exercise routine.
Try going raw for a day following these recipes:
One Day Raw Food Recipes
Indulge on a fresh fruit ensalada topped with honey and protein-packed nuts with a "side" of an nutrient-packed green smoothie. I explain why this bien verde beverage is great for you in Go Green for your Health.
Usually go for a soup and sandwich combo at noon? Make that sammie raw by filling hollowed cucumber halves with hummus and your favorite veggies. Complement with a refreshing gazpacho. More lunch options I love are kale salad (featured in Meatless Monday: Massaged Kale Salad Recipe) and spicy lettuce wraps.
Make zucchini pasta with a vegetable peeler and top with a homemade raw pasta sauce.
With such sabroso recipes, you could eat raw all day!
Raw Food Guidelines
- If you are considering committing to a raw food diet (or any dramatic health change), consult a professional.
- Always thoroughly wash your hands and food before handling it.
- Tried raw but still prefer your veggies cooked? Save nutrients by using shorter cooking times, steaming veggies instead of boiling. Always choose fresh plant foods over canned.
- Eat more of the raw snacks and sides you already love. Many of my favorite snacks are raw: guacamole, Mexican pico de gallo or salsa, vegetables with hummus, fruit and fresh salad with dried fruit, and nuts.
Turbo charge your veggies' nutritional value by eating them raw. Whether you commit to one week, day, or just one raw meal, you'll not only feel great but crave more.
¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read recipe ideas.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
What raw dish will you try?