Raw Food

Our clients know that while we obviously focus in our clinic on postural therapy, we are personally always trying to stay abreast of health trends and are looking for ways to improve our own health. And as we learn new information, we enjoy passing that on to clients to do with as they deem fit.

Many of our clients know that we in the Austin clinic have been doing some diet modifications over the last several months. I wrote about a book called “The China Study” here a few months ago, for example. Now I’m not a big believer in rigid rules, and I think there are a lot of people making themselves sick eating extremely “healthy” diets because they stress so much about what they are consuming. I think attitude plays a huge role in all of this, and I think having a great, relaxed, thankful attitude eating some grilled chicken is more healthful than eating broccoli and sprouts and stressing over possible contaminants.

All that said, I think the less processed foods we eat, the better. And if we can reduce our consumption of saturated fats and animal proteins, I think that’s a good thing, too. To that end, I’m trying to make about 50% of my diet be comprised of raw vegan foods. That means no animal products and nothing cooked over roughly 120 degrees (the theory there being that temperatures higher than that destroy enzyme content that helps us utilize the food’s nutrients, and reduces vitamin and mineral content as well). Then I’m trying to make another 30% of my diet be vegetarian but not necessarily raw, so for example, sauteed spinach would qualify there. Then the other 20% is whatever the heck I feel like eating. If I want bbq and ice cream, then I’ll have bbq and ice cream, dagnabit. Interestingly, the more I eat of the first two categories, the less I want of the third.

In my quest to upgrade my diet, I’ve been searching for ways to eat healthy food that doesn’t bore me to tears and actually tastes good. I’ve talked with a number of ‘raw foodists’ and I kept getting the same consistent advice: you need a high speed blender and a dehydrator. I probably also need a food processor, but that will come at some point.

The main point of this post is I did a bunch of research (no surprise for those who know me well) and found what I think are the two best options for personal use in these categories and I wanted to share them here for our friends and clients.

Re the blender, I narrowed my choices down to either a VitaMix or a BlendTec unit. We ended up choosing the BlendTec and we love it.

Here is a link with a great chart comparing various models. And here is where we purchased ours.

regarding the dehydrator, the more people we spoke with, the more we kept hearing that the best choice was the Excalibur 9 tray unit. We bought ours here because it included at no extra charge special non-stick sheets that are exceptionally useful. We bought our dehydrator here.

At some point I’ll probably share some of the ways we’re using these tools, but I’ll give one quick example. We have a 15 year old son who has resisted eating anything green his entire life. Salads? Um, no. He’ll go on a hunger strike, literally, before he’ll eat salads. He’ll do some steamed broccoli now and then, but getting veggies in him is a challenge. But with the blender, he’ll make a daily smoothie with orange juice, organic frozen strawberries and mango, then he’ll throw some raw kale and spinach in and blend it all up. The blender makes the veggies just disappear into the smoothie so he’s happy to do it. He knows he’s getting his veggies and making mom and dad happy, and we’re happy that he’s upgrading his nutrient intake.

With the dehydrator, I’ll give one example. Ralph, one of our therapists, bought one and brought this in and it was so awesome I duplicated it. Raw kale isn’t particularly tasty. I find it bitter, but it is a nutrient powerhouse. Well, we took a bushy head of kale, washed it off and put it in the dehydrator for about an hour until the leaves got smaller but still had a little moisture. I then took them out and drizzled sesame oil on them, then added some garlic and chili powder and organic pink salt, rubbed it all in, then put the kale back in the dehydrator for another 4-6 hours. When all is done, the head of kale now fits in a sandwich bag and is a crispy snack that tastes amazing. Get the urge for something a bit spicy and salty? Have a couple tablespoons of that instead of potato chips. It’s like eating a small salad in terms of nutrients and to me actually tastes better.

Anyway, lots of possibilities down this path. If anyone has ways they’ve used these kinds of tools, or tasty things they’ve done with ‘raw food’, please share with us so we can all learn!

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One Comment on “Raw Food”

  1. Donal Says:

    Hey Rick!

    Great to hear that you have joined the raw revolution. It’s definitely the way forward.

    If you like a cereal for breakfast or a filling snack this raw ‘granaola’ might just tick a few boxes.

    Binding Mix

    2.5 Cups of Water (pref not tap)
    2 Cups of Dates
    0.25 Cup of Lindseeds (brown or golden)
    1 Table Spoon of Sea Salt
    4 Table Spoons of Cinnamon

    Add the above ingredients to a blender and allow to soak for around 1 hour, then blend to a smooth, thick consistency.

    Granola Mix

    4 Apples Chopped Into Small Cubes – Mix With Lemon Juice (Fresh, 2 TBL Spoons) and Water (0.5 Cup) Solution to Prevent Browning
    4 Cups of Cashew Nuts ‘Crushed’ into Small Chunks
    4 Cups of Almonds ‘Crushed’ into Small Chunks
    1 Cup of Quinoa Flakes
    1 Cup of Pumpkin Seeds
    1 Cup of Sunflower Seeds
    1 Cup of Sesame Seeds
    4.5 Cups of Chopped Dates
    0.25 Cup of HQ Ground Flax Seeds

    Thoroughly mix the above ingredients in a large bowl (needs to be a pretty big one because of quantities) and stir in the binding mix. Spread on dehydrator trays to about 0.5 inch thickness. Dehydrate for between 10 – 14 hours at 115 degrees (until dry and crunchy).

    You can have the granola as a bar or break it up and have it with a nut ‘milk’ in a bowl.

    This will make about 4.5 trays of granola which lasts 2 people almost 2 weeks. It takes a bit of time to prepare and is as easy to do a large batch as a small one.

    Obviously adjust or substitute measurements and ingredients to suit tastes and availability.

    If anyone has suggestions for variations I’d love to hear them.

    Donal


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