In the summer, I love nothing more than raw food. There are lots of Silver Linings to eating raw food. Zen Habits (one of my favorite blogs!) contributor Jonathan Mead gives 10 fabulous reasons why they are so wonderful:
- Live foods. It’s common sense right? A cooked seed won’t grow, but a raw seed will. Heating food over 118 degrees Fahrenheit destroys much of the nutrients in your food. Cooking food also diminishes the natural life energy. I’d rather put living food in my body.
- Enzymes. Cooking food (over 118 degrees) destroys much of the natural enzymes (your body can also create enzymes, but can only do so much) in your food that are needed to break down nutrients. Eating raw eliminates this problem.
- Insane energy. You won’t know this unless you try it for yourself, but eating raw gives you an amazing boost in energy. I used to get tired around 2 or 3pm during the day. Now I simply don’t have that problem. When I do get tired, it doesn’t last nearly as long and an orange or apple will recharge me within a few minutes.
- Better sleep and less sleep needed. I’ve slept better than ever while eating raw. But most importantly, I don’t wake up feeling tired or groggy anymore. On most days, I wake up feeling full of energy.
- Increased mental clarity. Eating raw has helped me focus on the things that are important and made me more emotionally in tune with others. I feel like a wall of fog has been removed in my mind. It’s easier to think clearly and focus for long periods of time.
- Eat as much as you want. This isn’t really a health benefit, but it is pretty awesome. I never get that uncomfortable full feeling eating raw. You know where you have to unbutton the top button on your pants and take a nap? I don’t get that. I can eat as much as I want, and while I will feel full, I don’t feel weighed down or tired.
- Less cleanup. Simply put, there aren’t many dishes to wash when you eat fruit and vegetables. Although if you do compost (like I do), you’ll probably have to do it more often.
- No packaging. Eating raw means less packaging all around (well, I guess you could argue that banana and orange peels are “packaging”). This means less trash in a landfill and more room in your cupboards. Win/win for everyone.
- More regularity. You should naturally have around two to three bowel movements a day. If you’re going less than that, it probably means your intestines are unhealthily clogged. A raw diet gives you more than enough fiber to keep you regular.
- Connection with the earth. Eating food that’s been freshly picked just feels different. You feel more connected to the earth and more grounded. Eating lots of processed foods — frozen or from a box — makes creates more of a gap and leaves you feeling disconnected from the earth that sustains you.
One of my favorite summer recipes is from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen cookbook: Angel-Hair Squash Noodles in Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara. It is soooooo yummy and light and fresh and delish.
I took it to a dinner party last week and the girls loved it (Silver Lining), so I thought I’d share it here with you. Hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
Angel-Hair Squash Noodles in Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara
Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen
For the Sun-Dired Tomato Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups of tomatoes, chopped (preferably heirloom tomatoes)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. I’m a big fan of Lucini.
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 tsp pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
- Blend fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, dates, oregano, rosemary, and salt until mixed well.
- The sun-dried tomatoes
For the Noodles
- 4 zucchini squash (yes, that’s all!)
- To make the noodles, cut off the tops and bottoms of each squash, and then cut in half
- Use a spiral slicer to spiralize your squash into angel-hair noodles. A spiral slicer is definitely worth the investment. You can buy one here for $24.50: http://www.rawguru.com/store/raw-food/spiral-slicer-saladacco-spiralizer.html
- Toss your angel-hair noodles with marinara.
- Serve immediately, as it will begin to release water.
- Store squash noodles and marinara separately to keep for a few days in the fridge.
If you’re looking for another recipe, my girlfriend Valerie Rice also has a super recipe on her blog, Eat-Drink-Garden for a yummy-looking recipe for Zucchini Pasta. ‘Tis the summer season, right?