Is there such a thing as a healthy snack? I think so, and I think there are a couple of principles to keep in mind if you’re going to eat a snack.
Your snack should be easy to digest
If you’re going to have a snack between meals, make sure it’s easy to digest and that it will not cause any “stomach traffic jams”. Find out more about food combining in this video.
Eat a snack only if you’ve got time between meals
What I mean by this is that you should try to eat one meal and then give your stomach time to digest before adding something else on top of that. So if you ate lunch 30 minutes ago, don’t snack right away.
A snack should really be like an island to rest on before you next destination. I think having a healthy snack is important if you’re going to have a late dinner, since it stops you from overeating at dinner.
Eat snacks mindfully
Another trick to having a healthy snack time is to make your snack a mindful activity. Don’t just eat while you’re at your computer or focused on something else. Take a few minutes to unwind while you’re eating your snack, and you’ll find you don’t need to eat as much… and you’ll feel a whole lot better when you get back to your work!
Be prepared with a healthy snack
The problem with snacking is that we usually reach for an instant food when we’re under pressure. Instead of going to the vending machine or stopping by the corner store, bring your own snacks.
Try this healthy raw cashew snack…
Healthy Cashew Snack Video Recipe
What are your snacking tips?
I’m sure you’ve got some awesome snacking tips up your sleeves… please share them with us in the comments below!
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Collard wraps and raw pate are some of the most delicious, familiar, and easy to make raw recipes out there.
Raw Pate & Collard Wrap Video
(If you can’t see the embedded video, click here.)
Indian-Inspired Raw Pate Ingredients
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3-4 soaked sundried tomatoes
- Pinch of sea salt
- Pinch of cumin
- Pinch of curry
- A few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Place all of these ingredients in a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec) or a food processor and process until it forms a pate consistency. I don’t recommend you use a regular blender, because it won’t be able to process the ingredients properly and may overheat.
I love this pate because it’s got an Indian feel to it, but it uses the simplest and most easily available vegetables as a base.
Now you can use this pate to top your salads, make wraps, or with raw crackers.
How to Use A Raw Pate For Collard Wraps
To make a collard wrap all you need are a few large collard leaves. Collards are great because they are dark leafy greens with tons of nutrients and fiber. They’re also sturdy and easy to wrap into a delicious burrito-like meal!
The first step is to wash your collard leaves. Next cut off the protruding end of the stem.
Place the leaves face down and use a knife to slice off the extra tough middle rib. This will allow for the collard leaves to fold more easily when you wrap them up.
Turn the leaves over, with the darker side facing down. Take 2 or more leaves and overlap them.
Spread some of the raw pate in a horizontal line on the leaves. Then add any other fillings you’d like: marinated mushrooms, sprouts, shredded vegetables, etc.
To prepare the wrap, fold in the two sides, then roll up the edge nearest you. Keep rolling and tuck in the sides as you make each roll. Watch the video to see this in action!
Try this pate or invent your own! The beauty of raw food is that you can pretty much always invent a new raw recipe based on what you’ve got in the fridge. Play around with the spices and ingredients and come up with a new family favorite.
Give the collard wrap idea a go, and see how easy it is to make wraps out of super healthy ingredients!
Let me know how it goes and what recipes you come up with in the comments below! :)
Photo by Gordana A. M.
One of the reasons people turn to raw food is because they are looking to eat more healthy food. That’s definitely one of my main reasons for giving raw food a try. (Remember that when I say raw food, I don’t necessarily mean 100% raw.)
Lately, I found myself giving out this little piece of advice: eating raw food doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier than other ways of eating.
Hear me out…
There are a lot of other things that go into your health, other than just the “label” you apply to your food. So for instance, you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of it. Or you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of one category and not enough of another.
Neither of these scenarios is very healthy.
Or, you might be eating raw food but not drinking enough water, sleeping enough, or exercising enough. And then there’s your emotional and mental well being, all of which play into your overall health.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what healthy foods are.
The Healthy Foods List
Here is a basic list of healthy foods that most people can agree on:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fresh leafy greens
- Cold pressed extra virgin oils
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Seaweeds and sea vegetables
Now we can split hairs and argue that we should include other foods, depending on what lifestyle you follow. For instance some may want to add superfoods, others may want to add in raw dairy or meat, you get the idea.
But I think we can all agree that these are basically healthy foods. Especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Unhealthy Foods List
- Processed “white” foods like white breads, white pastas, etc.
- Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame
- Addictive substances like MSG, and other “taste enhancing” chemicals
- Processed, denatured fats and oils that the body cannot deal with
Alright, so the unhealthy foods list is incomplete. That’s partly because it would take too long to include everything that might potentially be unhealthy. But it’s also because we don’t all agree on what’s unhealthy.
Some people go around telling themselves that they’ll be healthy if they eat “Everything in Moderation“. And while the adage that eating everything in moderation probably held true 100 years ago, it certainly doesn’t hold today.
There are more chemicals and ingredients that I can’t pronounce on a label for dried raisins than ever before. Dried raisins!
Imagine what’s in super processed junk foods for a minute. It’s not pretty.
How to Include More Healthy Foods and Less Unhealthy Foods
I honestly believe that in order to eat more healthy foods we need to leave some of the unhealthy foods behind. If you’re too full from eating an entire bag of chips and a 1L bottle of Coke, then you’re not going to be inspired to eat an apple. Let alone a salad.
Letting go of foods that aren’t good for you is a lot more complex than it might seem at first. Why? Cravings. That’s why.
I’ve been eating healthy foods for over 3 years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about cravings. Get on The Cue list, and you’ll be the first know about my cravings busting techniques.
1. Drink Green Smoothies.
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know how much I love green smoothies. Blend 60% whole fruits, 40% green leafy veggies, add water, and you’ve got yourself the best tasting veggie dish ever.
Fresh zucchini pasta!
2. Use vegetables instead of pasta noodles.
You can get a Spiral Slicer or a Mandolin Slicer at most cooking stores, but failing that just use a vegetable peeler to create fun noodle shapes out of veggies. Try zucchini, spaghetti squash, and eggplant. Top with your favorite pasta sauce.
3. Dehydrate some Kale Chips.
Instead of reaching for those starchy potato or corn chips, why not get your greens in? You can dehydrate your own kale chips with a dehydrator, or alternatively use your oven on the lowest setting. You’ll find the kale chip recipe here.
4. Guzzle some Green Juices.
Green vegetable juice is on equal footing with green smoothies. (Read the juicing vs. blending post.) You’ve got all of those nutritious green minerals and vitamins, and they’re going straight into you without the fiber.
5. Puree vegetables into soup.
You can either use a blender or a juicer to make fresh, yummy veggie soups. Try a mix of carrot and cucumber and add your favorite spices, or give it a little kick with some fresh ginger.
6. Try new vegetables and find creative ways to eat them.
See what’s available in your area and surprise your senses with exciting new vegetables. Why not chop broccoli up into salads? Shred some turnips, or use Bok-Choy as a dipping veggie.
7. Shred carrots, cabbage, and other “tough” veggies into an easy slaw.
With a food processor or by hand, shred those tough “winter veggies” into an easy to enjoy slaw. You can top it with your favorite salad dressings or invent your own. Plus it’s so easy to grab some in a container when you’re on the go.
Photo by Tamara P.
8. Marinate vegetables.
Chop up some of your favorite vegetables and marinate them for a few hours to soften them up and give them that extra taste. I like a mix of olive oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. I’ve marinated mushrooms, broccoli, string beans, asparagus, and the list goes on.
9. Make your own pasta sauce, and add chopped or pured veggies.
If you usually buy pasta sauce, why not chop or puree your own fresh vegetables into it to make it that much healthier? Alternatively you can make fresh veggie pasta sauces with your blender.
10. Steam a sweet potato.
This isn’t raw, but then this isn’t about being 100% raw. If you’re craving that warm comforted feeling, reaching for a steamed sweet potato is a healthy non-processed starch way to go.
11. Add a green powder to your drinks.
If you’re on the go and fear not being able to get enough greens in, then green powders are the way to go. I recommend a blue-green algae like Spirulina, and there are tons of other great green powder products. Add them to your water, smoothies, or on top of salads.
12. Make an avocado chocolate pudding.
Check out Erin Huggins’ take on a raw chocolate avocado pudding, rocking the yum. It’s so easy to make and kids will love it!
13. Eat celery sticks and other veggies with almond butter and a drizzle of sweetener.
Turn ordinary vegetables into satisfying sweet, salty, crunchy snacks. Experiment with different nut butters, and your choices of sweetener like raw honey or stevia.
14. Cut up greens & other veggies and add to grain dishes.
It doesn’t matter if you eat cooked or raw quinoa, brown rice, or barley, you can still use this tip. Simply chop up fresh vegetables like spinach, cucumbers, and other veggies and put them into your grain dishes.
15. Drink Raw Gatorade.
Instead of reaching for a sugary drink after a work out, why not embrace the fruit and veggie duo in Raw Gatorade? To make raw gatorade blend water, bananas, and celery.
16. That’s a wrap.
You can make tons of great vegetable rich entrees with wraps. Simply wrap veggies up in a leaf or a gluten free tortilla, and add your favorite sauces or spices. Even the wrap itself can be a vegetable, like a collard leaf, a cabbage leaf, or even a lettuce leaf. Yum!
Photo by Darwin Bell
17. Make veggies available at all meals, and not just as a side dish.
Yes, that means breakfast too! The key to eating more vegetables is to treat them as a central theme to all meals.
18. Make a vegetable sandwich with anything that won’t fall out.
When eating out ask for a vegetable sandwich instead of the extra heavy meaty variety. With a veggie sandwich you could end up with a lovely looking salad, between 2 slices of bread. You can make raw bread in a dehydrator, so don’t discount this option if you’re all raw!
19. Make your own veggie salad dressings & dips.
When you blend your own salad dressings, you can sneak more veggies into the dressing itself too! Try blending avocado, cucumber, as well as sea vegetables and add some spices. Yum.
20. Have sliced veggies on hand at all times, and get yourself a good dip for snacking.
We’re a lot more likely to reach for the veggies instead of the chips if they’re already in snack form. When you get home from a shopping trip, wash and cut your snacking vegetables and store in the fridge for easy access. Then either make your own delicious veggie dips or have a healthy alternative on hand for when the snacking strikes!
21. Eat your salad before your main meal.
This ensures you get your veggies in before you get full. Plus a good salad before a meal will keep you from overeating the foods that aren’t as good for you.
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To most people the term “raw food diet” might seem a little extreme, if not far-fetched. That’s why I want to spend a little bit of time today explaining exactly what Raw Food is all about, and a few reasons why some people include more Raw Food in their diet.
(Oh, and just a little reminder that I’m not advocating a strict 100% raw food diet. I think we can all benefit from more raw food, but it might not be right for everyone right off the bat. Right batman? Right.)
(If you’re reading this via email click here to watch the quick introductory video.)
What Does The Raw Food Diet Consist Of?
The raw food diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These four main food groups are great because they are essentially the revitalizers and immune system builders of the body. Not to mention that anyone can benefit from more fruits vegetables in their diet.
Reasons Why Raw Food is “Raw”
The raw food diet further qualifies food that is raw by stating that it not be heated above 112 Fahrenheit. The reason being that food heated above 112 Fahrenheit loses some of its digestive enzymes. All foods have enzymes that help us digest and absorb nutrients properly. Without these enzymes, we use our own limited supply of enzymes to digest food.
Raw Food as a Creative Outlet
Okay, you might be thinking that eating a bunch of carrots and raisins is not going to keep your taste buds happy. Fortunately, raw food is full of opportunities for creative food prep.
- Raw food allows you to make wacky green smoothies that are full of essential nutrients that help you maintain your weight while building strong bones and muscles.
- Raw food is a great way to try new fruits and vegetables that you’ve never even heard of before. Fancy trying durian fruit, or venturing out into new green territory with kale, collards, swiss chard, or even dandelion greens?
- With raw food you have a chance to experiment with new food combinations and spices. You can load up your blender with produce, hit the blend button, and cross your fingers. Chances are it will turn out tasting great.
I hope this quick article gave you a little more insight into exactly what the raw food diet consists of.
I just wanted to add that there are also variations of the diet that include raw dairy products, eggs, and even raw meat. I don’t think any one diet has all the answers, and I encourage you to find what works for you.