Friday, July 17, 2009

Raw Foods - Why and What?

Raw foods, simply put, are foods not cooked or heated to a lesser degree to avoid the loss of nutrients. Since nutrients - vitamins and minerals - are key factors in meeting the needs of the body so it can function properly, raw foods are also key in obtaining optimum health.

Raw foods:
· are fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, raw nuts and seeds
· specifically provide a larger supply of nutrients
· also supply larger amount of enzymes for proper digestion of the nutrients (even if you do eat great healthy foods, if your body does not digest them due to lack of enzymes, it does no good)
· are foods dehydrated at very low temperatures as to retain nutrients
· can also include lightly steamed vegetables - though no longer really raw - but can have the benefits of raw foods providing that they have had low, minimal heat

So how do you get the amount of raw foods in your diet?

1) Don't believe the lie that raw foods (fresh produce) are more expensive! You body is always more satisfied in eating raw foods and you will naturally eat less. But most importantly, raw foods will provide you the benefits that will keep you stronger and less likely to get sick - don't think for a minute that, for example, appendicitis, IBS, ADD, heart attacks, etc. are not costly! You get what you pay for, or don't pay for!
2) Establish the rule of eating raw foods every meal or every eating interval. Include fresh fruits first thing in the morning and at snack time. Always serve raw vegetables for lunch and dinner (fresh green hearty salads - see Simple Super Salads, or Creatively Complete Dinners at These hearty salads can also make great breakfasts too!
3) Having raw foods for every meal means shopping for an abundance of raw foods, or growing them on a continual basis (great advantage of gardening). Lots of greens (spinach, leaf lettuce, sprouts of all kinds, kale, chard, beet tops, etc.), and a variety of orange, red, yellow, and blue/purple vegetables and fruits are important: carrots, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, purple grapes, yellow squash, blueberries or other berries, and/or many other varieties in all their colors.
4) As mentioned, eat raw foods for snacks: apples, bananas, carrots, snap peas, nuts - whatever you like, and take them along with you wherever you go. These are great foods for the road and some, you see, are "pre-packaged" for your convenience.

Enjoy a tasty "raw food" dessert from 31 Favorite Frozen Dessert Recipes!
Go to to get the other 30 great recipes for just a few cents!


1½ C. raw whole almonds
2 C. cold pure water
2 large bananas
½ C. honey
or ¼ C. honey or agave syrup
and ¼ tsp. clear liquid stevia
Pinch salt
1 Tbs. xanthan gum or guar gum, or 3 Tbs. ultra gel
(great binding agents, check health food stores)
2 Tbs. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. more cold pure water

· Soak almonds in water (approx. 2 C.) overnight; drain well
· If almonds are not blanched, and skins are not desired, remove skins; otherwise proceed
· In blender bowl, place 2 C. water and drained almonds; blend on high 2-3 minutes
· Add all remaining ingredients except last water; blend at least 1 more minute
· Stir in last 2 C. water
· Chill first if desired, then proceed according to ice cream maker's directions.
· Makes approx. 2 quarts Ice Delicious

This little book is terrific, so get your copy now at:

For your best health,
Erleen Tilton

Dangerous Food Additives!

There are all kinds of reasons for food additives in much of what is in our markets and restaurants today. They are added to:
· prolong shelf life
· preserve foods
· enhance flavors
· add color
· cause stimulation
· create addiction
However, the bottom line has to do with increasing the profits of the producer, without the consideration of the health of the consumer. These food additives are eaten blindly - they usually don't have a flavor - and we don't understand the long term consequences or effects on our state of health. However beware......

· Sweeteners - Even though sugar is void of nutrients and considered a drug because it only causes chemical reactions in the body, our much worse choices are the unhealthy sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners. Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Neotame, etc.) can cause brain damage, central nervous system disturbances, menstrual difficulties, and brain damage in an unborn fetus. Saccharin (Sweet 'N Low) is proven to cause cancer.

Suggestions: Prepare your foods with wholesome ingredients, and you will avoid these additives totally. Use raw honey, stevia, whole dates, date sugar, pure maple syrup, pure maple sugar, brown rice syrup, agave nectar. These are sweeteners have nutritional benefits and can feed your body.

· Preservatives - BHA & BHT can cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, behavioral problems, infertility, birth defects, weaken the immune system and more. Nitrites and nitrates, though considered dangerous by the FDA are added to prevent botulism in meats. However they form powerful cancer causing agents in the stomach and can cause headaches, migraines, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

· FD&C Colors - most of the colors are derived from coal tar and contain small amount of lead and arsenic. They are potential carcinogenic contaminants and can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, schizophrenia, as well as other attention deficit disorders.

Suggestions: Avoid ready-made processed foods and meats, and you will be able to avoid these harmful additives. There are many healthy brands with more wholesome ingredients that do not contain these additives

· Food enhancers - free glutamates are found in bouillon, broths, flavorings of all sorts, soy protein seasonings, whey proteins, and in a multiple of foods that even advertise NO MSG. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is found in a large variety of processed foods as well such as chewing gum, drinks, medications, infant formula, low fat milk, drinks, and much more. These enhancers can cause headaches, nausea, brain and nervous disorders, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, and reproductive disorders.

· Caffeine - psychoactive, addictive drug which can cause fertility problems, birth defects, heart disease, depression, behavioral changes, insomnia, and nervousness.

Remember: the more processing a food goes through, the lower the nutritional content and the higher the additives to preserve, enhance, and get you addicted. Foods are meant to nourish and heal the body, not create sickness - and additives are doing just that. Read labels and choose foods and products that have minimal processing, but are wholesome and nutritious to the body.

Avoiding unhealthy foods can sometimes be a challenge as it usually means changing some habits. If you would like to know how to make this transition easier for yourself as well as your family in an easy step by step, hands-on experience, then register for one of the upcoming Health Retreats now at:
Women's Health Retreat:
Couple's Health Retreat:

.... another great recipe from the Healthy Leaner Lifestyle series! You will find this fabulous recipe in Simple Super Salads cookbook, or the new 41 Favorite Food Intolerant Recipes mini-cookbook at

(no additives in this great mayonnaise replacement - and it's all good-for-you ingredients)

¾ C. water
¾ C. raw cashews
6 oz. tofu, or ½ C. blanched almonds or pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. brewers yeast flakes (opt.)
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
¼ C. cold pressed oil (olive or safflower)

· Combine all ingredients except oil in blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy
· Slowly add oil while blending
· Chill well to thicken
· Makes approx. 2 cups and will keep refrigerated for approx. 2 weeks.

Erleen Tilton