Raw Energy: Winter in the raw

By Brenda Richter

Trying to commit to a diet of at least 50 percent raw fresh fruits and vegetables can be tough during these chilling months. Eating piping hot meals, soups and beverages not only help you stay warm but they are comforting as well. So why eat raw? My answer would be, why not? Once you experience the difference of eating at least 50 percent fresh, natural raw fruits and vegetables, it simply compels you to incorporate more into your diet and experience even greater benefits. Not only do you feel better, you have more energy, it improves health, skin, blood circulation, makes you feel younger, strengthens your immune system, helps you overcome and/or avoid illnesses or recover faster from that nasty common cold!

There are ways to “warm” our nutritious raw foods; you don’t have to eat food refrigerator cold. Bring your food to room temperature. Raw soups are easily warmed in a blender, dehydrator or briefly on a stove top. A blender really can “warm up” those foods while keeping those valuable enzymes intact. If you are using a stove top, continually stir the soup to take off the chill but don’t let it get steaming hot as you lose those valuable nutrients and enzymes.

For those who want to opt for a healthier cooked version instead of raw, here are a few tips. Incorporate naturally caffeine-free green, black or white teas. Make a smoothie using warm tea for that full, thicker consistency. For cooked soups, use a vegetable broth and add lightly-steamed vegetables at the end with seasonings to taste. Have some lightly-steamed vegetables, then mix that in with a touch of olive oil and seasonings as this cuts down on the sticky fats that cause blockages in the arteries and digestive tract.

For more information about the benefits of raw foods, class schedules, and information seminars, go to www.myrawenergy.com.

Brenda Richter is a graduate of Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, where she received her certification as a Raw Culinary Arts associate chef and instructor. She’s passionate about sharing the living foods lifestyle with others, and teaches raw culinary arts classes in the Rockford area.

From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.

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