In many ways we are what we eat. It doesn’t take a quantum physicist to notice that what we eat affects us in more than physical ways. It affects our moods, our ability to think, to love, and to pray. Avoiding what we know is toxic and choosing what we know is healthy makes as much sense for an aspirant as an athlete. The discipline, mindfulness, and intentionality involved in making a commitment to a healthier diet can be Olympian. Eating healthy not only supports spiritual practice, it is a spiritual practice, one that is available to all seekers. — Adapted from The Raw Food Gourmet by Gabrielle Chavez
In my last post I tried to make the case for adding more raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into your diet. It may sound like a good idea, but the practicalities can be overwhelming when you consider the way most of your days go, and how you get enough almost nutritious food into your body. It may seem so totally outside the realm of your reality, that it’s easier just to say, “Good idea, perhaps, but too hard, too weird,” and move on.
Making a raw food diet consistently appealing may, indeed, be a challenge. It’s easy enough to grab some raw carrots or apple slices, especially if you’ve had the foresight to cut them up in advance so that they’re ready when you’re ready to pop something fast and easy into your mouth. It’s much trickier, though to prepare a well-rounded meal, let alone find some raw options on restaurant menus. Sprouting seeds, germinating nuts, and dehydrating and fermenting vegetables – all popular in raw food diets – can be time consuming.
Many of you have heard me say this before, (feel free to hum along here), that the easiest what to introduce more raw and fresh food into your eating habits is to get that blender out of the back of the bottom shelf in the cabinet, get it set up on the kitchen counter, and start making green smoothies containing lots of dark leafy greens, (all power-packed with nutrition), fruits, nut butters, herbs, and other ingredients such as flax, hemp, or chia seeds, and other nutrient dense foods such as nutritional yeast, local bee pollen, or turmeric. A good green smoothie a day gives you an extremely beneficial nutrition boost in a fast, economic, and portable way.
Another way to “test” a raw food diet is to start with a raw food “detox,” for anywhere from three days to three weeks, when you commit to eating primarily raw, plant-based foods. Many of the so called “cleanses” which are popular these days are just that – eating mostly fresh, raw, and preferably organic fruits and vegetables.
At the very least, a few days or weeks of this sort of eating will help to break the fat, sugar, toxins overload to which most Americans are accustomed. It will give your digestive system and the filtering organs – kidneys and liver – a much appreciated and deserved break. It won’t take long eating this way for you to feel so much better that you decide to continue with it after your allotted time trial.
Any raw food added to your diet is value added. Make a commitment to do something – green smoothies, a detox, one meal a day, or one day a week — and then watch the benefits come rolling in. May your raw food adventures bring you robust health and abundant vitality!