Still Eating Raw in the Winter?

Good for you and keep it up! We all desire more warming foods during these cold weather months and we need to listen to these types of cravings from our bodies; the craving is there for a reason.

Baby, its cold outside, to be sure. But, don’t give up on raw foods just because the thermometer has plummeted! Raw foods continue to be significant to us and remain critical to achieving optimal health, wellness and beauty. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Raw foods will maintain their vitamin and mineral content, while cooked foods will lose much of theirs. You want to maximize your intake of vital nutrients as often as possible.

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2. Raw foods are hydrating. Although you should always drink lots of water throughout the day, consuming lots of fresh, organic raw foods will allow you the freedom of not having to count each glass! The water content in fresh, leafy greens and other raw veggies is high enough to boost and maintain ideal hydration levels in everybody’s body!
3. The live digestive enzymes in raw foods help you break down cooked foods and usher them along through your colon efficiently. This means less gas and bloating, regular bowel movements and easier digestion over all.

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Enjoy cooked starchy vegetables like squashes and potatoes, grains and legumes. But be sure to enjoy even a small raw salad prior to your meal (or other raw veggie of choice). As a general, easy to follow rule, try to shoot for a 50/50 split during the winter. That is, 50% raw veggies throughout day along with 50% cooked veggies. Enjoying a smoothie or green juice as a first meal is an way to jumpstart this. But if something liquid is not calling your name, try poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach with sliced cucumbers and carrots on the side. For most people, lunch and dinner options are generally easier to make sense of as far as that 50/50 split goes.

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Starchy veggies are easy to digest and for someone who has a lot of gastrointestinal issues, think: gas and bloat, eating cooked vegetables is a great way to minimize discomfort. And back to comfort! Nothing says warmth on a cold winter’s day like a steamy, fragrant bowl of cooked quinoa topped with sweet and spicy potatoes and fresh chopped herbs. Enjoy it, its delicious! But, enjoy it only after a crisp leafy green salad. Or, while you’re preparing your yummy entree, snack on some raw carrots or celery sticks!

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Also, consider an “entree” salad, a little raw and crisp along with a little cooked and savory. Think: a crisp bed of arugula topped with sautéed mushrooms, green beans, roasted asparagus, sweet onion and just popped open cherry tomatoes, topped with fresh parsley or basil. YUM. Or how about: raw baby spinach topped with roasted broccoli, diced acorn squash and pine nuts. Options are endless!

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There’s no reason to not enjoy healthy comfort food this time of year or any for that matter. Just keep in mind that 50/50 rule and you’ll never have to worry about compromising on health and maintaining your beauty!

Happy, healthy eating, doll!

Rachel