(OrganicJar) You don’t have to go full throttle, punk rock raw vegan to reap the benefits of nutritional health. Incorporating more whole foods into your diet is the first step. In doing so, you will begin to feel lighter and more energized which is quite an addictive state. On top of this, your palate will adjust accordingly and you will start craving the fresh goodness. Definitely a win-win, so let’s get you Schoolly D-ed on a few moves that will help get down those gangsta greens.
Ga-Ga-Ga Green Smoothies
Oh green smoothie, how you taste so much better than you look… In some instances resembling an unkempt goldfish bowl, green smoothies are an ingenious way to get down a massive amount of greens. And yes, despite first glance, they taste amazing! Seriously.
The idea behind the green smoothie is to blend up a bunch of crazy healthy greens (i.e. spinach, kale, collards, dark lettuces etc) with fruit for a tasty, nutrient dense meal. The beauty is that most of these greens have a mild flavor that is easily covered by sweet fruit, so although your glass may look a little swampy the taste factor is incredibly sweet and fresh.
At the risk of getting all after school special on you, I have to break down the power of the greens. Firstly, dark leafy greens (like the above mentioned) are an excellent nutrient source; they even provide protein and calcium! They are also wonderfully alkalizing, which balances out the acidity of the body that is caused by an un-ideal diet and poor environmental conditions.
Greens also help kick your sweet/junk cravings. In general, if you are craving crap you are likely to be deficient in some area of nutrition. Eating enough greens will solve this problem. I use to have a mad sweet tooth then I did a ten day green smoothie fast and poof, sweet tooth be gone. I believe this was because I was getting in an adequate amount of greens during my smoothie fest.
Dip your baby toe into the green smoothie pond (scum) by trying out my simple green smoothie recipe:
Ghetto Green Smoothie
- Fresh spinach
Fill your blender up ¾ full with the fresh spinach. Add two bananas and just enough water to get it to blend down (the idea is to get as much greens in while maintaining your taste preference). Blend and taste. Too sweet? Add more greens. Too swampy? Add more bananas. You can also add ice or use frozen bananas for a frostier blend.
Please keep in mind that my dropping the smoothie bomb is no excuse to get all Jamba Juice on me. Most smoothie bars are serving up so much sugar you may as well be at a Dairy Queen. There are tons of green smoothie recipes online and in books like Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko to help you keep it fresh in the kitch. Get your green smoothie in often and feel the difference.
Raw Snack Attack
I use to smear neon orange cheese on a cracker with a red piece of plastic- oh how times change! Despite the lack of shiny packaging, raw foods provide the means for some killer snacking.
Cut up veggies and dip are a flavorful and satisfying snack as long as you nix the crusty buttermilk ranch. With so many amazing raw dips out there, you won’t miss it. Fresh guacamole and salsa are great raw dips and there are plenty of other recipes out there to explore. Even if you have to go with a healthier non-raw dip (like hummus for example) eating it with fresh veggies is a much better option than chips, crackers or bread.
A piece of raw fruit is an ideal snack to grab on the go. More often than not, I’m spotted with a banana on my way out the door in the morning. Luckily, most coffee shops and convenience stores have bananas or other pieces of whole fruit available in a pinch. Better than a Danish, fo sho.
Go Buck Wild at the Salad Bar
No matter what the mainstay of your meal is, know that you can go crazy on the salad/raw veggie component. Filling up on raw veggies or dark leafy salad is a smooth move no matter what other anti-health foods may sit on your plate. Getting in more of the good stuff will benefit you nutritionally and fill you up so you eat less of the unhealthier part of the meal.
Raw Detox Meals or Fasts
Perspective is key. While continuing to do your “you” thang, you can think of raw foods as a way to detox the body or for periods of cleansing. I know plenty of hotties who turn to raw to regain balance after stints of hitting junk food/boozeville a little too hard.
You may opt to keeping one meal a day raw for balance, or you may try a week of raw as a cleanse. You could do raw during the week and then free ball on the weekends- whatever works for you. One thing is for sure, the more face time you give raw food, the more you will crave it and want to voluntarily incorporate it into your life. Which, like my homegirl Martha Stewart always told me, “Is a very good thing.”
About the author:
Lisa Paris discovered raw veganism a year and a half ago and has rocked the lifestyle ever since. As a writer and nutritional coach out of Portland, Oregon, she enjoys long walks at the Farmer’s Market and quality upside down time in yoga. You can check Lisa out at www.rawbeets.com an entertaining, educational site providing accessible information on raw foods as well as social commentary on the lifestyle and green living.
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