We are counting down to my final 30 days and YOUR Raw Food Challenge!
This weekend I had the chance to take a look at Alissa Cohen's book, Living On Live Food. This book is heavy, topping out at 572 pages. Packed with recipes and great info from cover to cover, Alissa has included a great chapter on "How To Start Raw...Today" that I just love!
Alissa has been a personal coach and raw food chef to thousands of people over the years (see her clients Before and Afters!), so she really knows how to make sure people are successful when they 'go raw'. She says,
"...this diet is mostly about freedom! You don't have to eat certain things at certain times. You don't have to weigh anything, or count calories or mysterious 'points' every day. If you want to, you can eat only bananas for days, or pineapple in the morning, a salad for lunch, and more veggies for dinner. Since this diet adapts beautifully to each individual, I encourage you to experiment."
Here is what she says to her beginning coaching clients as a rule of thumb:
EAT MORE! According to Alissa, the biggest mistake people make when they first go raw is, they don't eat enough! While you don't want to overeat raw food as a general rule, when you are coming off a Standard American Diet, you MUST eat LOTS of raw food while your body adjusts! Raw food is less filling than the SAD diet. Eat when you are hungry! LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Eat as much as you want, when you want it, as long as it is raw. You will level off to eat much less in time.
LEARN TO MAKE RAW FOOD DISHES! Alissa encourages this strongly. This week I will be sharing some recipes that do not require any fancy equipment to make. I said this last week, but it is important to have some yummy raw dishes at the ready that will keep you motivated. Raw food is so much more than carrot and celery sticks. Take advantage of recipes that will keep you satiated both physically and mentally! This NOT about deprivation. There will be no reason to 'cheat' when you've got something yummy and raw to enjoy.
BE PREPARED! Again, I'm repeating from last week, but Alissa says this, too. 'Stock your fridge with healthy foods and have the ingredients available to whip up a dessert or something filling if needed, to satisfy a craving.' Goes hand in hand with the point above.
IF YOU'RE HUNGRY, EAT. IF YOU'RE NOT, DON'T! Alissa talks about emotional eating, too! 'Find an alternative to eating...don't use food as a distraction or an escape from life issues.'
She then outlines a shopping list of Essential Ingredients to have on hand to always be able to whip up something delectable. Excellent! I've added a few myself.
Vegetables: dark leafy greens, avocados, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, celery, mushrooms, etc.
Fruits: oranges, bananas, apples, lemons, pears, grapefruit, etc.
Frozen Fruit for Smoothies and Desserts: berries, bananas (freeze your own! remove peel before freezing)
A Variety of Dried Fruits: dates, apricots, raisins, etc.
A Variety of Raw Nuts and Seeds: almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.
Honey (make sure it says 'raw' or it is not!)
Olive Oil: cold pressed, extra virgin
Apple Cider Vinegar: Braggs brand or any kind that has a cloudy web in it called 'the mother'.
Braggs Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu: this is a soy sauce that is raw
Raw Almond Butter: yum!
Celtic Sea Salt: the gray kind is best. It is unrefined and filled with minerals.
Nutritional Yeast Powder
Pure Grade B Maple Syrup: Alissa doesn't use this, but Serene does.
This recipe is absolutely dee-lish! From Serene Allison's Rejeuvenate Your Life: Recipes for Energy. Serene comments, "Get yourself a good helping, because this one goes fast!" I've seen a group of non-raw diners polish this off in less than five minutes. It's that good. The avocado and walnuts make it 'meat-y' and substantial.
OLIVE TAPENADE SPINACH SPECIAL
In a giant bowl, toss...
2 (10 oz) bags of fresh spinach
Two avocados, cubed
A handful or two of walnuts, broken into bite sized pieces
3 generous TBS. of Cantare Olive Tapenade
3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
Then make dressing...(I use my Magic Bullet Blender for this)
3 TBS. Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TBS. pure Grade B maple syrup
A pinch or two of sea salt (taste as you go)
A few cracks of black pepper
2 generous TBS. extra virgin olive oil
Mix it all together and dig in if you are eating it right away! It does get soggy when left too long, and it is big.
If you are just wanting to have this on hand during the week, this is an easy one to throw together in a smaller portion size. Just eyeball the amounts you need. Cut up the avocado just before, of course, and toss it all together. Have the dressing made in your fridge, and pour a little over when ready.
WARNING: This salad is addictive. Eat at the risk of your own health and happiness improving substantially.