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Calories and protein and nutrients! Oh my!

February 7, 2010

The raw food diet is becoming more and more mainstream.  Dr. Oz and Oprah have even given this “diet” a serious look.  Of course, this makes complete and total sense to me.  The raw food lifestyle (because it is so much more than a diet) is simply eating the healthiest things our world has to offer.

By eating whole fruits and vegetables, you are taking in only what your body needs.  Naturally this leads to weight loss and toxins leaving your body.   Cooking foods depletes many nutrients, and therefore our bodies crave more to meet our nutritional needs.  It is so easy to over eat on a cooked food diet.

However, when making the switch from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a raw food diet, you have to become more knowledgeable of what you are putting in your body.   Our bodies require a certain number of calories and protein.  While on the cooked diet, it is easy to surpass those numbers (in the most unhealthy ways).  Here is a great list of sources of protein.  Eating raw broccoli and lettuce provides your body with lots of fiber but very few calories.   Bananas, dates, flax seeds, and nuts have more calories.   Plan out your meals keeping your caloric intake and protein in mind!

The key is balance.

And I will leave you with a recipe found in the Atlanta Journal Constitution last month:

Sunflower Seed Hummus

1 ½ cups raw sunflower seeds
1 garlic clove
¾ cup raw tahini
juice of 4 lemons
2 T olive  oil
1 T cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt

Soak the sunflower seeds in filtered water for at least 8 hours.  Drain and discard soaking liquid.

In a food processor, combine sunflower seeds, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, pepper, and salt and pulse until mixture is smooth.  Add water, if necessary, to thin.  Garnish with olive oil, if desired.  Serve with flax seed crackers or raw veggies.

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