Why You Should Eat a Raw Food Diet

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

Maybe the benefits of raw food diet have you raising your eyebrows… The question is, are you ready to start eating a raw food diet and begin enjoying true raw food health?

You don’t have to eat a 100% raw food diet to reap the health benefits that come with it. The benefits of raw food diet run deep. Listen to your body, and do what feels best.

But do remember that the more natural foods you eat, the better it will be for your body, mind, and soul.

The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

So why should you start eating a raw food diet? You’re probably thinking about how hard it will be to transition and start getting used to a whole new menu. But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. The benefits of eating more raw foods far outweigh the hassle you have to go through in order to learn a few new tricks and recipes to make it work.

Did you know that most diseases are caused by unhealthy dietary choices?
It’s 100% true.

We don’t think about it when we eat food that isn’t healthy for us, but each time we put something like a candy or ice cream into our body we are hurting it. Our bodies are made for natural foods, because they provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy and vital life. Many who’ve suffered from illnesses and ailments have been cured when they embarked on a healthier diet because they finally allowed their body to start healing.

How to Transition & Enjoy The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

Incorporating raw foods into your diet can feel overwhelming when you don’t know anything about it. In reality, it is simple. Eat the fruits and vegetables that you desire, and eat as much as you want. When you’re new to eating a raw food diet almost anything is allowed, because it is a time of experimentation.

Try new things and see how they work for you. Check out some raw recipes, they are delicious!

Here are 3 simple ways you can get more raw foods into your diet.

1. Add Smoothies – I have always liked smoothies and found them to be an easy way to add more raw foods into my diet. You can start by drinking a smoothie instead of eating your usual snack between meals. Throw some bananas, spinach and berries into your blender and enjoy the ride.

2. Eat Fruit Before Your Meals – Eating fruit before your meals will decrease your appetite for cooked food, so if you’re planning to lose weight, this might be a good option for you. It is also good for reducing cravings. I sometimes get a craving for sweets after I’ve eaten cooked foods. This usually doesn’t happen if I eat fruit before my meal. Try it!

3. Have a Raw Day – One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods cuisine. Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Make it a day of relaxation where you take it easy and try new things.

Raw Foods Cuisine and Achieving Raw Food Health

Raw food health is not about following a strict diet, at least not for me. Like I said above, you don’t have to be 100% raw to get the health benefits raw foods give. Again, listen to your own body, and go at your own pace. Start small and make consistent changes. You will be amazed at where you land in a month or two. There are no rules, you can gain the benefits of raw food diet right now. You can make juices, smoothies, delicious raw brownies, or you can eat everything as they are. It’s completely up to you.

Now get out there and start enjoying the foods that will bring you vibrant health, energy, and joy.

Ingela Johansson is in love with natural skin care. If you want more natural anti aging tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to find an eczema cure to learning how to start removing age spots.

Top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch

Don’t have the time to go through the whole spellbinding archives? Start by the top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch!

Why It’s Easier to Go Raw Than To Become Vegan

Who knew that going raw could be easier than just vegan? This post clearly explains that choosing a raw diet is not only easier, but also healthier than the common vegan diet.

7 Reasons I have a Love / Hate Relationship with Raw Food

There are always two sides to a medal, and having a raw diet makes no exception. Changing your diet can sometimes have an important impact on your everyday life. Discover the ups and downs of a life in the raw.

The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Your Health Without Giving Up

Changes towards a healthy lifestyle require commitment. By investing in yourself, you’re not only taking the first and necessary step towards a healthier self, but you’re also putting the basis of a sustainable self improvement.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

Set Yourself Up for Raw Success

Changing your diet can definitely bring some joy, but the road can also get rocky too. Avoid the common roadblocks of your journey to raw foods, and gear up for success with raw coaching. The group coaching session here might be already over, but personalized one on one coaching sessions are still offered.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet

Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

Healthy Desserts: 28 Healthy Dessert Recipes in the Raw

Why do we love sweet food so much? It doesn’t really matter since you now have 28 healthy desserts you can eat everyday. This means 28 other delicious reasons to try raw food today!

How to Stay Raw When Dining Out at Restaurants

You don’t have to sacrifice your social life when committing to a raw diet. This post gives you great tips and ideas to eat raw at omnivore’s restaurants.

Why Food Allergies for Nuts, Gluten, and Milk are on the Rise and What to do About It

Food allergies and intolerances can silently sabotage your health. This video post clearly explains how food allergy works and what you can do to spot and prevent it to develop.

How Your Tastebuds Will Betray You & Why It’s Not Your Fault

Your tastebuds will betray you
Photo by Andrew Hill

Look from side to side to make sure no one’s reading over your shoulder. Is the coast clear? Good.

As I write this I’m leaning in, because what I’m about to say might shock some people.

“You know how you automatically react when you see someone attractive?”

“Um.. yeah, I guess?” you shrug, shifting uncomfortably.

“Sometimes it’s the flush of your cheeks, or a less obvious rush of blood in more obvious places.”

You nod quickly, “Get to the point Nathalie, what’s this got to do with healthy eating?”

“Well the way your body’s reaction betrays you when you’ve got the hots for someone is exactly how your body will sabotage your healthy eating efforts.”

Stick with me for a second while I explain.

Your Tastebuds React Whether You Like it or Not

Just like our basic human biological reactions to an attractive person, our body reacts to certain types of “attractive” food.

Why do our tastebuds and bodies seem to crave foods that we know with our minds aren’t good for us?

Just like we know that bad boy with the motorcycle isn’t going to stick around after he gets what he wants… we know that donut isn’t going to make us feel good in an hour after we’ve had our fun.

It comes down to a little evolutionary device that was actually put in place to help us survive.

Back in the day we wanted the tough alpha male so our babies would have strong genes. (Reverse this for men and having many beautiful offsprings.)

Similarly, back in the day it was hard to find foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. These were scarce resources that we weren’t able to get our fill of, so we evolved to seek them out for survival.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) today we’ve got more than enough sources of fat, salt, and sugar. In fact we’re practically drowning in them.

So that evolutionary pull that our tastebuds create for foods that contain lots of fat, salt, and sugar is an antiquated tool.

Taking This Analogy Further

If we just listened to our bodies all the time we’d end up in a sex-crazed, overpopulated society.

(Okay, you might say that we’re there already, but I’m an eternal optimist.)

Add to that the fact that the foods we crave so much are now highly available. Vending machines, street vendors, and refrigerators mean you’ve always got unhealthy foods at your fingertips.

I often hear that we “should just eat what tastes good to our bodies, in moderation.” And although I believe in the concept in general, I think that it doesn’t apply in our world of caffeinated beverages, salty crackers, and sweetened dried fruit.

Alas, our body’s natural “balance” mechanism has gone completely out of whack. Some studies were done on young kids, where the kids could choose what they could eat at will. At first all of them went for the “bad” foods that were sugary, salty, or fatty.

Confused?
Photo by Dan Foy

But eventually the kids balanced this out by eating vegetables and fruits. By choice. It was natural for them to want to eat something different.

The problem began when they started testing older children, who didn’t feel the need to balance out their consumption of salt, fat, and sugar.

Sound familiar? It’s not your fault, it’s all in the body’s mechanisms.

Our Bodies Are Just As Confused As We Are

We are constantly being bombarded with information regarding nutrition: you should avoid these foods they are bad for you, and you should eat more of these foods they’re good for you.

We get so gosh darn confused with all this conflicting information!

If you think our minds are confused, what about our bodies?

After eating a diet of standard American fare, our bodies lose their ability to recognize foods that it can digest.

As a child, our bodies know that fruits and vegetables are easy to digest. They also know that pop tarts and diet coke are not normal: we experience different side effects when they’re ingested.

The more processed food you eat growing up, the more confused your body gets. As you grow up, you loose your ability to trust your body’s original balanced instincts about food.

Everything Has Salt, Sugar, Corn, or Soy

All of the different packaged and processed foods contain certain ingredients: salt, sugar, oils, corn, or soy.

Manufacturers used these ingredients because they are addictive, make things taste good, and are cheap fillers.

Of course what makes good business sense for manufacturers, doesn’t necessarily make good health sense.

What about when moderation means that manufacturers put sugar, salt, and other “additives” in just about every since store bought product?

It’s much harder to eat these substances in moderation when they’re in pretty much everything you find at the store. Except produce, of course.

Trust Your Eyesight

It would be a bit cynical for me to say “trust no one”. But, there is someone you can trust, and that’s you and your eyesight.

Read the labels.

If there’s something you can’t pronounce, or where the first ingredient is one of the main culprits (salt, sugar, hydrogenated oils) then step away. You don’t have to buy these products, you can buy fresh produce or an organic alternative that doesn’t include all of these tricky ingredients.

Good luck, we’re all in this together.

Stay Tuned…

Next week I’ll be back with something that people have been asking me for a lot. I’ll be sharing my big epiphany, which goes hand in hand with this article.

Love, Nathalie

How to Make Fresh Vegetable Juice at Home

Have you ever had a taste of freshly made vegetable juice? It’s one of the most nourishing foods out there. And today I’m going to show you just how to make this type of fresh veggie juice.

How to Make Vegetable Juice Video

Veggie Juice Ingredients

The beauty of making vegetable juice is that you can pretty much improvise with what you’ve got in your kitchen or garden.

That being said, here’s what I used in this particular juice.

  • Carrots (tops and all)
  • Apples
  • Ginger
  • Celery
  • Parsley

Juicer Recommendations

I’ve heard great things about the Breville Juice Fountain, and many raw foodies recommend it. One of the benefits is that it’s a good quality juicer, for a pretty fair price.

It also has a wider opening, so you don’t need to cut fruits or vegetables as small to get them juiced.

omega-juicer-gift

The juicer I own is the Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer. What I like about it is that you can use it to make green juice, and other treats like nut butters, raw fruit sorbets and ice creams, and baby food.

It’s got a heftier price tag, but because it uses a mastication system you’re actually getting more juice for your buck. Before I got this blender I always cringed when I saw how much juice was left in the pulp. Now the pulp is totally dry.

What is Your Favorite Mix?

I’d love to know what your favorite mix of vegetable juice is. I’m pretty partial to my “Beet Goes On” beet juice recipe. What else do you like to drink?

Love, Nathalie

Favorite Raw Spring Recipes for Healthy and Glowing Skin

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

What I eat is determined by how delicious it is. How healthy the food actually is, comes second. I think we’re all in the same boat, which is why it is so crucial to make delicious raw food recipes.

The last couple of years I have been experimenting with raw and vegan foods, trying out people’s recipes and making up my own. To the amazement of both my boyfriend and I, we are able to eat delicious foods without processed sugar, dairy products and wheat.

Sure, my taste buds might have changed a few times along the road and gotten used to and more sensitive to different flavors. But I don’t care. What matters is that I love the food I eat.

Below are three recipes I enjoy on a regular basis. My measurements aren’t 100% accurate as I go by feel a lot, so feel free to experiment and find your own special formula.

Fresh Spring Salad
Photo of Spring Salad by Ingela

1. Fresh Spring Salad

When summer is around the corner, I start craving salad. I love this spring salad recipe because it is so fresh and light, perfect as a side-dish or just as is. I like to make a big batch of it and have it ready to snack on whenever I want.

The sweetness of the carrots and peppers eliminates the bitterness of arugula, which is always good. Arugula is loaded with powerful minerals. Alongside with the immune boosters, garlic and ginger, it’s a match made in heaven.

Here’s the recipe:

  • About 200 g Arugula
  • 1 Bunch of Radishes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • A Little Fresh Ginger
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

Slice all the vegetables and combine in a big bowl. Crush the garlic and chop or grate the ginger. Combine the rest of the ingredients with the vegetables, and taste it to see if it needs more vinegar or salt.

2. Simple Frozen Berry Smoothie

This one is a regular breakfast for me. I usually make it big, about 1 liter, because I’m so hungry in the morning.

It is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from the berries and spinach. I don’t actually like the taste of raw spinach, but it is covered up by the tasty berries. You won’t even notice it.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3-5 Bananas
  • 2 dl Frozen Raspberries, Strawberries or Blueberries
  • 100 g Spinach
  • 1 dl Water

Put everything in your blender and blend until smooth. Increase the amount of water if needed. Pour into a tall glass, sprinkle a few berries on top and enjoy!

[Editor’s Note: If you want to start ramping up the greens, you can get more information on green smoothies here.]

3. Apple Pie

Oh my, of all the apple pies I’ve had this one is my favorite. When I first tried this recipe, I couldn’t believe it was actually healthy for me. The dates can be switched to dry fruit (raisins, apricots, figs etc.) if you so desire.

The crust:

  • 2 Cups of Brazil and Pecan Nuts
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Pitted Dates
  • ½ Tsp Cardamom
  • ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt

Put the nuts in the food processor for a few seconds, until they are small crumbs. Add dates and spices and process until the dates are in small pieces and everything is nice and crumbly.

You can process it longer if you want it more like dough, but I find it yummiest when it is like crumbs.

At this point I usually taste it to see if I’d like to add a little more salt or cardamom. Now press the crust into a round form of 9 in/22 cm and freeze until it’s firm. While I wait for the crust, I make the filling.

Filling:

  • 6 Large Apples (or 8 Smaller)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Fresh Dates

Slice 4 apples and put into a bowl. Cut 2 apples into chunks and put in the blender with the lemon juice and the dates, and blend until smooth. Now combine the mixture with the sliced apples and mix it together. Take out the pie crust and spread the filling evenly in it. Eat instantly or refrigerate, it keeps at least a few days in the refrigerator.

There are so many tasty raw recipes that you have no excuse to keep eating unhealthy foods.

Ingela Johansson is in love with taking care of her skin naturally. If you want more health and beauty tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to prevent oily skin to removing age spots.