There are plenty of ways to eat more raw foods than simply eating bland lettuce all day! If you play your cards right, you can sneak raw foods into just about every meal. Raw foods include not only fruits and vegetables, but can include other grains, fats, and carbohydrates that have not been heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Try these seven ways to eat more raw foods!
1. Drink a Green Smoothie for Breakfast
Drinking a green smoothie in the morning for breakfast is one of the easiest ways to eat more raw foods. Smoothies provide loads of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, which is just what your body needs to start the day right! If the idea of a green smoothie still sounds gross to you, add a ton of fruit, and then gradually cut back until your smoothie is about 60% greens and 40% fruit. This way you’ll slowly get used to using less and less fruit/sugar to sweeten your drink.
2. Add Raw Veggies to Your Sandwich at Lunch
Do you really need those chips or crackers with your sandwich? Raw veggies like carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers are a much better choice than refined carbohydrates like chips, crackers, and pretzels. Better yet, raw veggies provide loads of vitamin A and vitamin C—two crucial nutrients to prevent chronic disease. Try dipping your raw veggies in hummus, salsa, or low-fat ranch dip as a healthy and raw side to your lunch.
3. Wrap Protein in Romaine Lettuce Leaves or Portobello Mushroom Caps
Who needs the bread when you’ve got romaine lettuce and Portobello mushrooms? These two raw veggies are great substitutes for bread as a sandwich. You can easily wrap turkey and a little mustard in romaine lettuce. Try using Portobello mushroom caps in place of a bun for your burger!
4. Snack on Raw Fruit Throughout the Day
As tempting as that office vending machine might be, snacking on junk food is perhaps one of the unhealthiest habits to have. Instead of diving head first into a giant bucket of popcorn, try snacking on raw fruit and nuts when hungry strikes. Fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients, making it an excellent investment in your health.
5. Start Dinner with a Giant Salad
I know I said earlier that there are other ways to eat raw food besides salad. With that said, salad is still a great way to get raw food into your diet. Mind you, you don’t need to eat just a salad for dinner. To truly satiate your appetite, try eating a salad FIRST—then eat your dinner as you normally would. Starting a meal with raw veggies like salad helps digest food better and keeps you full.
6. Make Overnight Oats for Snacks and Breakfasts
Carbs can be prepared so that they’re raw too! Surely you’ve seen someone on your Facebook news feed by now who has taken a photo of their overnight oats. There are plenty of recipes online for making this awesome breakfast that’s pretty much raw, steel-cut oatmeal that’s been soaked overnight in cow’s milk or a milk substitute. Simply add your favorite fruit, nuts, and other mix-ins and breakfast is served!
7. Use Raw Organic Honey Instead of Conventional Brands
You’ve probably read about the health benefits of honey, how it’s antibacterial, antiviral, and contains loads of B-12 vitamins. These facts are true, but they’re only true about honey that’s consumed in the raw. Conventional honey (even organic) that’s been heated loses almost all of the nutritional benefits that honey enthusiasts rave about. Adding raw honey to tepid coffee, tea, or drizzled on fruit is a great way to incorporate this raw food into your diet.
Eating raw doesn’t need to be boring! With all the colorful fruits and veggies out there, you can definitely make some creative and fun dishes that are packed full of nutrients. What are some of your favorite raw foods?