30-Day Challenge: Going Raw with Danilae
This month has flown by; I can’t believe my 30-day raw challenge only has one day left. It’s been a great experience and a true testament to my personal will power. While I don’t know that I’ll maintain a completely raw lifestyle for the rest of my life, I do know that I will maintain a very high raw percentage. The benefits are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before and I truly do feel like a much healthier individual. For anyone thinking about going raw, here’s a brief pros and cons list:
Pros of living raw:
— Increased energy
— Improved digestion
— Clarity and sharpness in thought
— No more feelings of sluggishness
— Brighter skin
— Weight loss
Cons of living raw:
— Less options at restaurants
— Servers will roll their eyes at you when you order
— Lots of preparation and thinking ahead
— A little inconvenient
— Less social activities
— Most people will think you’re a little crazy
I understand that not many people will switch to a completely raw lifestyle, though I hope that those who have been following my 30-Day Challenge will at least feel inspired to add more raw, living foods to their diet. I’ve compiled a list of raw foods that are good to eat and great for adding nutrition to your body.
Avocado: Avocados are often considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet because they contain over 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K; copper; iron; phosphorus; magnesium and potassium. Avocados also contain fiber, protein and several beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which may protect against various diseases.
Bell Pepper: These brightly colored fruits are not spicy. Instead, they’re sweet and add a great crunch to any meal. They’re excellent sources of vitamins A and C, vitamin B6, folic acid and fiber.
Berries: Berries are low in calories, high in fiber and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are the most popular. Goji berries and acai berries are gaining more popularity and are jam packed with antioxidants and anti-aging properties.
Chia Seeds: These seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources for fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 to help boost metabolism and produce lean muscle mass. Add them to water or smoothies, but wait 15 minutes before drinking them—they need to absorb water before they get into your system, otherwise, they’ll soak up your water.
Cucumber: One of the world’s most cultivated foods, cucumbers are 95 percent water, making them a great source of hydration. They are also an excellent source of silica and vitamins A, B1, B6, C and D.
Himalayan Sea Salt: Table salt, or sodium chloride, is a highly processed white substance that lacks nutrients. Instead, use Himalayan pink sea salt, which is full of 84 different minerals and trace elements—nutrients missing from regular table salt—and it tastes much better.
Kale: Kale is my favorite leafy green. Packed with vitamins A, B6, C and K, it’s an excellent antioxidant and the fiber and sulfur in kale aid with digestion and liver health.
Nuts and Seeds: Powerful vitamins, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamine), are found in raw nuts like pistachios and metabolize fats and carbohydrates while regulating muscle function and the nervous system. Vitamin B6 is commonly found in raw almonds and provides folate to fight the risk of heart disease and bad cholesterol levels.
Olive Oil: Cold pressed olive oil contains about 90 percent unsaturated fat, which is healthy for the heart.
Spinach: One cup of spinach exceeds your daily requirement of vitamins K and A, manganese and folate; and provides 40 percent of your required magnesium intake.
Another way of incorporating more raw, living food is by juicing. This is a great idea for beginners who are trying to get their feet wet in the world of raw as well as for those on the go. I start every day with a green juice—and will continue to for a long time. Here’s my recipe:
- A handful of kale
- A handful of spinach
- 1 banana
- Some parsley (usually about 2 or 3 little bushels)
- 1 cucumber
- ½ green apple
- Juice from ½ a squeezed lemon
- Some mixed berries (if I want it a little more on the sweet side)
Note, I use a blender so I add water to this mixture. If you’re really struggling with the taste, use organic, unfiltered apple juice instead of water. Also, for beginners, add more spinach than kale, as spinach does not have much of a taste when blended.
I really hope you all have enjoyed my adventures in eating raw. Follow me on Twitter for more on raw food, health, fitness and fashion.