|OK In Health - Raw Food Column|
“You’re sure getting a gut on you aren’t you?” - August 2012
Don’t let your summer go to “waist”
I’m generally a very happy, even tempered individual but a couple of weeks ago I became very, very upset for a few hours. In fact I was literally p.o.’d. My best friend of 30 some years, aka my husband, turned to me and commented, “You’re sure getting a gut on you aren’t you?”
Since this is quite out of character for this gentle, mild-mannered person who usually tells me how beautiful I am, I must say it threw me for a loop. Like most women might, I immediately rushed to the full length mirror and studied my profile. Yes, there it was for the entire world to see. I haven’t had a weigh scale in my home for years so I have no idea how much I had gained, but I do know what was causing this subtle increase in girth.
I had stopped going to the Y for one thing, thinking that all the gardening, walking and hiking I do in the summer was sufficient to keep me in shape. But, mostly I had been socializing a lot. Socializing equates to spending time with quite a few friends who are not interested in raw food cuisine and who indulge in all kinds of appetizers that are brimming with empty calories. As I would sit and enjoy a glass of organic red wine, I would casually pop a few of the appies that were arrayed in front of me.
Believe me, you probably can relate to exactly what I’m talking about. I think to myself, “There are no raw food police out there.” The conversation is flowing, I’m relaxed and enjoying the sun and I forget to consciously choose what is beneficial for my body. My body tells me right away. No wonder last year’s summer shorts were feeling snug. I thought they shrunk in the closet over the winter!
I have a little mantra that I like to repeat when I begin to think of falling off the raw food wagon. I walk around saying “fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, in my body, they’re sure to please”.
And so two weeks ago I began. Along with the mantra, I started writing down everything I consumed daily. It’s amazing how hesitant I become when I think, “If I eat that, I have to write it down”! Next, I began making some fun and exciting raw food appies that I could bring to the gatherings. It really doesn’t take that long to put a few goodies together and I am always so pleasantly surprised at how well everything I make is received.
What’s really wonderful is that when a person consumes fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (and some sprouted grains) in their natural, raw state, the food is alive with enzymes and so satisfying. When you are eating live food you really become satiated before you over-indulge. Including nuts and avocadoes (high in fat and protein) in raw food fare is not only a quick way to satisfy hunger, they provide valuable nutrients as well. Already, in two weeks my waist line is looking better and I don’t ever feel hungry. I’m so grateful that I have this knowledge of raw food to fall back on.
And, you know what else is really great! There are raw foodies out there who are preparing food for those of us who don’t wish to take the time to do our own preparation. I’ve noticed that you can now purchase dehydrated raw snacks such as kale chips, crackers, bliss balls, and sea vegetables. They may be more expensive than a bag of potato chips, but when you think about it in this way, there is nothing, absolutely nothing good in a bag of chips. It’s dead food. So, you may as well take the money spent on that bag of chips and throw it in the toilet, as opposed to passing it through your body first, where it can actually do damage to your system and go to “waist”.
Purchase some raw food snack crackers instead. Carefully read the labels so you know there are no preservatives or table salt added. Make a simple raw food dip such as salsa or guacamole or try the following recipe for Mango-Chile Sauce. Besides serving it with raw food crackers, you can serve it with crudités or with Live Sushi Rolls. This sauce will keep for 7 to 10 days in the fridge. Purchase a couple of small matching white hors d’ouvre dishes and put guacamole in one and the mango-chili sauce in another. The colors look very inviting, exciting and appetizing.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups mango, chopped
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ tsp. sea salt
Dash of crushed dried red peppers or 1 tsp. diced fresh jalapeno pepper or hot red pepper.
Agave nectar (optional)
Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and saucy. Only add the agave if the mango is not very sweet.
If you have time, instead of crudités or crackers, make some live sushi rolls to dip into the sauce.
Live Sushi Rolls
Start with 4 nori sheets (dried, not roasted or toasted). Cut a celery stick into four long strips. Place one strip in the centre of each nori sheet. On one half of the sheet spread some guacamole or mashed avocado. Add some shredded carrot, some cucumber and red pepper cut in thin strips, and a few sunflower sprouts or pea shoots. Roll each sheet very snuggly, starting with half of the nori sheet that has ingredients on it. Moisten the end of the sheet with water or lemon so it will stick to form a Nori roll. Allow closure to dry for a few minutes, and then cut in 1” pieces using a sharp knife. Arrange on a plate around a bowl of mango-chili dipping sauce.
Enjoy a rawsome summer, Sandra
Sandra's Bio: I was a sickly child, almost entirely bed ridden for two years of my childhood. I was always weak and contacted colds and flu frequently which weakened my immune system. As an adult, I was anemic, had high blood pressure, and was underweight and chronically ill. Then, as I grew older, I developed the first signs of osteopenia and also began to gain weight – something I had no idea how to handle. I was getting older but not healthier. I began seeking new ways to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol and gradual weight gain that had crept up over the years. Respecting my body as the temple of the mind and soul, the gateway to the Spirit self, I sought a new approach to inspired health! Fortunately, a few years ago I was blessed with a friend who introduced me to a raw food lifestyle. Because I have always been interested in nutrition, raw food preparation inspired and excited me and I began experimenting with some delightful recipes. It was awesome! The results were immediate! The weight began to release and the blood pressure came down, arthritic symptoms disappeared and my energy levels rose. When the opportunity came for me to complete my “Raw Food Chef certification”, I jumped at the chance. Then I began to teach classes in a quest to share my new knowledge with others. I realized along the way that I wanted to become more enlightened about nutrition, so back to school I went to become a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN). Today, I continue in service to others, offering personal counseling, traditional, transitional and raw food preparation classes. I also organize and conduct special group events. I specialize in detoxification and cleansing for optimum health and in developing menu plans that suit each individual’s health concern. I am an avid gardener, practicing environmentalist, prolific reader and follower of all health related issues. I practice spiritual principles that go hand in hand, creating my optimum health. - Sandra Butler Website - Email
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Description: The advantage of making your own healthy homemade granola is that you can avoid some of the hydrogenated fats and corn syrup found in many of the commercial brands. Granola made this way is also a heart-healthy snack food because of the relatively low fat content and the vitamins and minerals supplied by the grains, seeds, nuts and fruits. Oats and other grains are rich in magnesium and other minerals and vitamins which help keep cholesterol low. This recipe I like because of the blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is a very good source of iron. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with blackstrap molasses is a good idea--especially because, in comparison to red meat, a well known source of iron, blackstrap molasses provides more iron for less calories and is totally fat-free. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.
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