Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Review: Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body

Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body
Raw Energy: 124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body by Stephanie Tourles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this on a whim on amazon last month for $3 as a kindle deal of the month. I'm glad I did.

So here's the deal: the last two years I've started getting really passionate about being healthy. I've always had weird health problems that are all unexplainable to the medical community (chronic fatigue, morning nausea, joint pain, etc. etc.). I thought I might be celiac and tried eating that way and felt better, my test came back negative, though. Two years ago D's cousin who owns a health store in UT put us on a whole body cleanse with a 3 month diet of ONLY vegetables and lean meats. All of a sudden I had energy coming out of my ears, I was happy and all of my other health problems went away.

That lead to essential oils and clean eating and learning about low-GI . . . and then we moved and I got a job working full time and it all went out the window. I did my best to cut out processed foods and slowly increase the amount of vegetables we ate each day. Under the influence of an awesome friend who started eating vegan I started green smoothies.  I'm firmly in the camp of people who believe that whole food is much better than even processed health foods - and no amount of ads will convince me it's better for you than what God has made.   I was very interested in stop purchasing processed foods and going whole-foodist. I've heard about the raw-foodists and see them at the farmer's markets and I know they have good, healthy food - but this was my first time researching and taking a gander for myself.

This is a really good intro book. She goes over the basics of WHY someone would NOT cook their food and the benefits, as well as simple raw snacks, kitchen equipment, and pantry basics. The rest of the book is split into recipes for: Milks/Shakes/Smoothies, Juices, Energy Bars/Balls/Bites, Trail Mixes, Cereals & Parfaits, Veggie Chips/Dips/Spreads, Cold Soups, and Candy/Cookies. Just to give you and idea of all the ways you can incorporate RAW foods into your diet.

My favorite example of why to eat raw foods is when she was talking about nuts/seeds and she was talking about the importance of buying them RAW not Roasted - and she mentioned how just roasting it does more than just make it crunchier and yummier. If you plant a raw seed it grows, if you plant a roasted nut/seed, it will rot in the ground. Roasting changes its composition and removes the live enzymes.

The other reason I gave the book such a high rating (in addition to the information) is I love the author's attitude. She eats about 75% vegan including about 60% raw foods. The rest she uses local farm products. I've found that foodies and people who self-identify as an -ist tend to be a particularly passionate bunch - about what they and everyone else should be eating. The author includes some un-raw ingredients (natural peanut butter for one, with appropriate raw substitutes) in her recipes with the given that, come on, as a mom you have kids and a husband who need to be coaxed along the path at times to make the journey with you. She's very much a 'find a balance of what you want to eat and what works for you and go with it'.

Because it can be overwhelming trying to change how your family eats. And this gave me reassurance that I can go baby steps and that I don't have to be an -ist to enjoy RAW foods and start to be more healthy.

ps - looking forward to saving up for the baby steps of a processor, juicer, dehydrator, and vitamix. I think I'm going to have fun having the time as a SAHM to try this stuff out.

pps - get the paperback, this is one cookbook I'll want to have out quite a bit. kindle makes it a bit more difficult.

ppps - remember, just a little healthier today than you were the day before :-)

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