Pure Joy Planet was created from a passion for sharing the amazing healing benefits of raw, unprocessed foods. Raw foods have been our heart and soul for almost 20 years, and recently my team and I have begun to ask , “Is raw food still relevant? Are people still interested in raw food in 2016?”
Buzz words like ”Plant-Based” seem to be the new “Raw” and are popping up everywhere. Cafes, restaurants, and even festivals are picking up on the demand for more veggies. The problem is, the vegan and plant-based buzz words don’t necessarily mean healthy or unprocessed.
Did you know that Oreo cookies and graham crackers are vegan?! I recently stumbled upon a meat-free processed food company that is claiming to be "vegan" and "healthy" yet the main ingredients listed on one of their top selling products include soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expellar pressed canola oil*, methylcellulose, yeast extract, potato starch, enriched wheat flour, modified corn starch. Seriously? This is what companies are claiming to be healthy?
Packaged foods are not cool and not healthy! When we eat Frankenfoods (like the food referenced above), too many sweets and moldy grains such as corn and wheat, we can end up worse off than we were before starting a plant-based diet.
Eating clean, Plant-Based foods is more important than ever! With scientific studies pointing to how sugar and grains are compromising our brain and gut health, and how plastic and packaged foods are contributing to hormone chaos, there is no better time than now to start making your own food and eating it as whole, raw and local as possible. We don’t believe in diet dogmas; we do believe in the benefits of adding more plant foods into your diet.
Fill your blender, bowl or plate with 80% raw fruits and vegetables, and the other 20% can be something cooked and warm. You can either use a measuring device and recipe or your body’s knowing to guestimate how much to pour into your bowl or blender.
My favorite raw items are leafy greens, some kind of fat (seeds, coconut butter or avocado), seasonings (Himalayan salt, onion powder, cumin, cayenne), veggies (lettuce, red bell pepper, tomato, zucchini, carrots, etc.).
My favorite cooked items are artichoke hearts, hummus, jars of salsa, steamed beets, onions, garlic, winter greens, squash and sweet potatoes. See # 3 below for Rawked Fusion ideas.
Start by shopping for local foods at Farmers Market, and if you can, buy most of your produce for the week while there. You will be getting the freshest and most locally grown items. Eating locally will help you stay in tune with the seasons, which means fewer colds, fewer food allergies, more variety in the long run and lower food costs.
Also, when you are buying food from countries that are not regulated, you don’t always know what you are getting. Some countries pick under-ripe fruits and vegetables and die them richer colors before shipping them to us! Watch this Indian Vegetable Scam
Buy lemons, garlic, and onions in large amounts so you can use them all month. Pre-juice all the lemons and store them in a jar in the fridge for drizzling over salads and pouring into sauces. Order your grains, beans, nuts and seeds from companies that sell in bulk online. Store the extra food in your fridge or freezer if you have space or use a vacuum sealing system. We use Terra Soul Superfoods for our bulk orders.
Now that you have stocked your kitchen with veggies, decide which ones to cook and which ones to eat raw. I always cook my onions and garlic for easier digestion. What else should you cook? Chard, kale, collards, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and quinoa. These can be your base food (your 20%). Now top those cooked items with fresh leafy greens, herbs, fresh tomatoes, spiralized zucchinis, etc. Mix them all together and have a warm bowl full of veggies. Make a raw sauce or red pepper dressing for the top, then pour over your bowl.
If a bowl sounds too heavy, try a light soup. You can steam up some kale and squash, add sauteed onion, then blend it all together with a raw avocado or 2 Tbsp. coconut butter, a handful of spinach or basil, a tomato, and a carrot. Voila! Soup! Eat a 100% raw at breakfast by making a green smoothie filled with leafy greens such as spinach or parsley, hemp seeds, frozen berries and a scoop of green powder such as Vitamineral Greens, or a chia porridge: 1/4 cup chia soaked overnight in 2 cups sweetened almond milk. Top either one with bee pollen, dehydrated pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, or some Goji berries.
Coconut milk chia pudding topped with fresh seasonal berries and local bee pollen
Are you still confused about whether you should be raw, vegan, paleo, 80-10-10, high carb, high fat or bulletproof? Relax! Dogma and stress are not your friends! You really can’t get this wrong. Follow your healthy cravings, eat what’s local and fresh, and remember that whatever you make at home is going to be 100 times healthier than anything you can buy at a restaurant or store. Plus you get to make it exactly the way you like it.
Check in with your body often by journaling to see what is working and what is making you feel bad. Cravings for junk? Snacking is my favorite way to beat cravings. A little organic pumpkin seed butter or hummus with some celery sticks, apple slices, snap peas or red bell pepper slices are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
This is a common concern. Funnily enough, most people eat a lot more protein than the human body requires. Consumption of more than 5% animal protein has been linked directly to tumor growth in animals. Plant-Based amino acids (proteins) are in all vegetables but are highest in hemp seeds, vegan protein powder, and Spirulina.
If you are motivated to start adding more plant-based recipes into your diet but need a little more help check out our Raw Chef online course.
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~ Professional Chef, Instructor and Detox Counselor at PureJoyAcademy.com, Lifestyle Counselor, Co-owner of Pure Joy Academy and Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com Elaina Love began teaching raw food courses in 1998. She is a pioneer of low-glycemic and gourmet raw foods. She has created some of the recipes and everyday products which are used by professional raw chefs around the planet. Elaina has authored 3 popular recipe books, and is known for her “recipes that work!” In 2010, after 12 years of teaching, Elaina co-founded Pure Joy Culinary Academy. Since the academy opened, she has thoughtfully certified hundreds of students around the world. Each of these proud graduates now knows exactly how to be a raw food chef, and can instruct others around then–with an emphasis on Holistic Nutrition! Elaina has created the online "Raw Chef Certification" available exclusively here at the BodyMind Institute. Visit Elaina Loves' Pure Joy Academy here >
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