“RAW” Resources: Part One

For the past few months I have been reading books on raw foods which have inspired me to add more uncooked food to my vegetarian diet. The three books by Victoria Bosenko and the two books from Square One Publishing have helped me with this challenge. Keeping in mind that “raw” means nothing has been heated above 118 degrees F. to keep the enzymes (See Glossary) intact, I prefer to call these foods “Living Foods.” Below is a photo of the five books I have been using, but they are by no means the only raw food books. Also, in a timely article from www.naturalhealthmagazine.com (July-Aug. 2010) entitled “The Raw Deal,” there are six items to consider when contemplating the addition of more “unfired” foods in your menu planning:

1. Keep it Simple, 2. Stick with the seasons, 3. Consider your body type (Some people aren’t cut out to go all raw), 4. Plan to succeed, 5. Go organic, 6. Enjoy yourself!

Below are the first three mini-reviews with the caveat that, as #3 above notes, not everyone is meant to go all raw. In fact, my acupuncturists says that Chinese medicine does not think all raw is a good idea, so find your balance through trial and error and with the advice of your health practitioner. And start slowly, building up to what works for you. I think 75% raw is my maximum for now.

Note: The three books on the top will be reviewed today; the two on the bottom will be in the next posting.

1. Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko –  I actually reviewed this book on April 26th, so if you go into the archives and type in the title, it will come up. This was my first book on exploring raw foods. Victoria writes about her family’s health problems and how she learns about the importance of greens, making them in smoothies with fresh fruit or fresh veggies. At the end of the book are some smoothies recipes. Here’s just one that I picked at random:

Blend well: 6 leaves of red leaf lettuce, 1/4 bunch of fresh basil, 1/2 lime (juiced), 1/2 red onion. 2 celery sticks, 1/4 avocado, 2 cups water. Yield: one quart smoothie

The book is a great introduction to raw smoothies that are easy to make in the blender, not a juicer, and can be added to your diet without making any other major changes. Good beginner’s book.


Click on the icon below to order directly from Amazon or you can order online from the author at: www.RawFamily.com.

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2. Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko – This second book goes deeper into the importance of greens in the form of smoothies and has an expanded recipe section.  Part One is entitled: “Unleashing the Healing Power of Greens” and Part Two are the Green Smoothie Recipes. Both are written in an easy-to-read style. Because Victoria draws on her own experiences, it has the ring of authenticity, as do all her books. The recipes also include green smoothie soups, puddings, recipes for children, pets, and body care. Here is a sample recipe by Paula Gipson. (In this book, Victoria includes recipes from smoothie contributors):

Strawberry Creme Pudding: Blend 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup cashews, 1 cup firmly packed romaine lettuce and 1 tablespoon flax seeds.

Click on the icon below to order directly from Amazon or you can order online from the author at: www.RawFamily.com.

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3. 12 Steps to Raw Foods by Victoria Boutenko – This has become my “Bible” on raw foods, because in this book, Victoria explains the problems she encountered when helping people adjust their diets to include more raw foods, especially smoothies.  She claims that cooked food is addictive. In fact, the subtitle is “How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food.” While you may  not necessarily agree with everything she claims about this dependency, her argument is a good topic of conversation at the dinner table.

Also, Victoria talks about related philosophies, such as being supportive, actualizing your dreams, and curbing your cravings.  This book is quite comprehensive and includes the Ten Benefits of Green Smoothies and several pages of recipes, some of which are more meal-like than her previous two books. Here are the 10 benefit topics from pages 23-24. They are followed by an explanation in the book:

Green smoothies are: 1. very nutritious, 2. easy to digest, 3. a complete food because they still have fiber, 4. among the most palatable dishes for humans of all ages, 5. are chlorophyll-rich (chlorophyll resembles human blood), 6. easy to make and quick to clean up after, 7. are loved by children of all ages, 8. are part of a reduction in oils and salts in your diet, 9. are part of a good habit of eating greens, & 10. can be kept at cool temperatures for three days, although fresh is always best.

Click on the icon below to order directly from Amazon or you can order online from the author at: www.RawFamily.com.

Happy Blending

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