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Raw Food For Everyone

by Lauri Boone, RD

Lauri Boone, RDSummer is the perfect time of year to begin incorporating more raw food into your diet—and I don’t mean carrot sticks and apple slices. Plant-based, whole food dishes like pasta, wraps, soups, chowders, and decadent desserts like truffles, macaroons, and fudge are all on the raw food menu. And the good news is that you don’t have to “go raw” to enjoy the benefits of a raw food diet. Raw food is for everyone.

So what exactly is raw food? A raw food diet is comprised of whole, unprocessed, and uncooked foods that have not been heated above 110 degrees F. Raw food is real food. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains are all included on a raw food diet. And while raw foods are never cooked at high temperatures, they may be blended, juiced, chopped, shredded, diced, and dehydrated to create delicious and nourishing raw food dishes.

Following a raw food diet is not an all-or-nothing approach. Anyone can begin to incorporate more raw foods into their diet for optimal health and vitality. Raw foods nourish our bodies. They are abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phyotchemicals, and enzymes. Many individuals report that they look and feel better when following a raw food diet—or even by simply increasing their intake of raw foods. Focused energy, glowing skin, improved health, and mental clarity are among the benefits that many raw food enthusiasts report. And following a plant-based diet—including raw foods—may reduce the risk of and even reverse chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Now is the time to take your diet to the next level. Come out of the summer heat and join me for breathe’s monthly Raw Food Cooking Series, which begins Wednesday, July 27th. We will turn off the stove and stash away the pots and pans for this un-cooking class. In the first class of the series, Simple Summer Delights, we will prepare and taste an eggless egg salad, garden wrap, and strawberry dessert—all while sipping a savory raw “cocktail.” And if you can’t make it in July, join me in August for Simple Summer Delights II. This Italian-inspired follow-up class features stuffed mushrooms, pasta alfredo, and orange-almond cake.

I hope to see you all in the kitchen!

Lauri Boone is a registered dietitian at breathe® and a certified raw food chef & instructor. She writes a monthly column for One Green Planet and blogs about food at her website The Eclectic Kitchen.

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