In this day and age, with jam-packed schedules and seldom enough energy to go around, many people have been looking for an “out” on the whole cooking business. No doubt, take-out is considered a “life-saver” for taking at least one thing off the proverbial “plate” of our daily lives, even as it has a way of generating more heartache and headache in the long run.
Yeah, that’s not the “out” I’m giving you but I am giving you a perfect excuse to dial down the burners and STOP cooking so much. The bonus? Your family is going to reap MEGA bonuses in terms of their health!
Wielding nothing more than a knife and a cutting board, you too can whip up a number of delicious, no-cook dishes that can have your family rockin’ and rollin’ with good health!
Raw foods are nutritional powerhouses! No – I’m not talking raw chicken, beef or eggs. (I clarify because, yes, I’ve had people actually look at me with utter disgust when I say “eat more raw foods” and for whatever reason their minds race to raw meat. Gross. No. If you’re going to eat meat, cook it.)
What I am talking about is piling that plate high with fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Raw foods not only support better digestion and assimilation of nutrients but also provide a wealth of other health benefits from supporting detox and reducing inflammation, to helping many overcome serious diseases and obstacles in their health.
No, you don’t have to go fully raw or full-on raw vegan. BUT, we do all stand to benefit from increasing our consumption of fresh plant foods being as close to their natural state as possible.
Considered the “power of life,” enzymes are rich in raw foods but destroyed by processing and heating the food above 118°F. “Eating an enzyme-rich diet is thought to increase vitality and slow the aging process. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D., ‘Enzymes can even help repair our DNA and RNA.’”2
Science is steadily trying to catch up with enzymes and to fully understand their functions yet each marker toward that understanding only underscores their great importance. (I absolutely loved reading over this article by Dr. Mercola.)
The short of it? It is recommended that 75% of our diet come from raw food consumption to ensure we are getting plenty of enzymes to support vitality and our disease-fighting superpowers.
(Phyto – “plant”)
Plant foods contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals to build strong bones and give you great hair but that’s not all folks. That’s not all!
Plant foods also contain thousands of phytonutrients that support more mechanisms than you can count. We’re talking nutrients that fight cancer, balance blood sugar, support heart health and countless more that quite frankly rock my nerdy little nutritional world! You just can’t get that anywhere else.
If you’re amongst those that’ve been taking comfort in some man-made multivitamin, thinking you’ve got the fam covered, I hate to be the one to break it to you but you’re not. We need whole food nutrition.
The nutrients found in plant foods must not only be present but also consumed as part of a package deal. The nutrients found throughout whole foods often work together synergistically to accomplish far more than they could ever accomplish on their own. Some of these increase the functionality of the other. Some are needed for better assimilation of other key nutrients.
Conclusion – Eat whole food plant food, dude!
This may not be one that gets a lot of thought but, yes, our food should also be helping us meet our needs for water. Most American foods can be very dry, dehydrating the body as it has to use it’s own fluids to digest the foods, contributing to the constipation and other digestive woes that come with our traditional way of eating.
Raw fruits and vegetables contain an average of 82-89% water, helping to re-hydrate your body as it simultaneously supercharges it. That may not seem like much but it certainly adds up throughout the day. As a real plus, the water in organic fruits and vegetables can be much cleaner and purer than anything you’ll ever get out of a tap or a bottle; not to mention that it acts as a perfect carrier for all those water-soluble nutrients you’re getting from the food.
While you may not exactly be chomping at the bit to give up all your favorite, hearty cooked meals, I hope you’ll make it a point to finish with a raw apple or start with some raw greens. Still, it’s really not all salads and apple slices. Healthy, raw food recipes are in no short supply. You don’t have to go fully raw to enjoy the benefits of simply eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Every little bit helps and even just a small effort to add a little more raw to each meal can pay off in dividends.
So, there you have it. STOP cooking so much! Back away from the burners and whip up a healthy blend of fresh chopped produce for dinner or lunch. What do you say?