12 October 2010

'The Raw Food Revolution Diet' offers well rounded insight and easy to follow recipes

As a vegan who eats about a 70% raw diet, I was excited to read The Raw Revolution Diet, to see what kind of new insight I could gain, and most importantly to see what delicious new raw recipes I could learn! The first half of the book is jam packed with facts and figures on a raw food diet, while the second half provides the menu.

As a holistic health counselor, I was quite pleased that right from the get-go, the authors acknowledge that our health, and our weight, is affected by factors other than simply the food we put in our mouths (i.e. environment, genetics, stress, emotions). Goal setting, stress management, exercise, mindful eating, and the power of positive thought are all given due credit. I applaud the authors for taking the time to educate the reader on these factors, and not just proclaiming that eating raw foods will be your life saver. That said, detail is well paid to the nitty gritty data, such as the break down of recommended percentages of macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbs), calories requirements, food combining, and glycemic index. The "You won't get enough protein" myth is astutely dispelled, even to the greatest of skeptics. For the analytical types, the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are each explained in detail, and the reader is educated as to why each is needed, how to get each in a raw food diet, and even recommended dosages if taken in supplement form.

The authors devote a chapter to kitchen basics, such as equipment needed, sprouting basics, and helpful food preparation tips for eating on the go. I was happy to see that they did not tout a food dehydrator a "necessity", though they do offer information on these appliances, as well as some "dehydrator required" recipes.

As for the recipes, perhaps I was expecting too much. I love preparing new raw food dishes, and so I tried my hand at quite a few in this book. I found the side and main dishes to be good, but none blew me away enough to be added to my regular rotation. Maybe that's because the authors were trying keep it simple and nutritious, instead of entertaining taste buds (and I certainly respect that!) A large bulk of the recipes were actually spreads, dips, dressings and other condiment type mixtures. One of my favorites was a cashew dill sauce, that is a variation on a dressing I often make. It's simple, but certainly serves to fill the void for anyone craving a creamy ranch dressing or dip. I was graciously given permission to share a recipe from this book, so here it is:
Cashew-Dill Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients, aside from half of the dill weed, in a blender and process until creamy. Add water as needed to make a thick sauce. Stir in the remaining dill weed. Store in a sealed glass jar, this will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or 3 months in freezer.
(This sauce thickens a bit when chilled, so I found that it's best to make a little thinner than desired, since it will thicken up once refrigerated.)

The Raw Revolution Diet offered much more high level nutritional data than I had expected, and had the added bonus of taking the totality of health and well-being into account when shifting towards a raw foods diet. The intention of the book seems to be an attempt to set a newbie to raw foods on a well footed path, with solid information, and some recipes to boot. If my presumption on that objective is accurate, then I commend the authors for a job well done!

Lori Zito | @LoriZito
Lori is a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a yoga instructor, and a physical therapist. Learn more at her website Live In The Balance and Facebook.

Photo credit: The Raw Food Revolution Diet
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