What's With Raw

Lauren Silva

The summer heat is so nice… as long as you have a cold drink (extra ice!) and a little shade to relax in. But when it comes to food, our palette is changing with the weather. The warm, cooked meals we typically love in other seasons have given way to a raw foods craving. The heat of mid-July has us wary of turning the oven on so we’re stocking the fridge with crunchy, cool, and hydrating alternatives.

What’s The Deal With A Raw Foods Diet?

A raw foods diet focuses on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, and seaweed are staples of a raw food diet. Typically, at least 75% of foods must be living or raw on this diet, meaning the food is completely uncooked or “prepared” below a temperature of 116℉.  

While a complete dietary change may not serve you, there are several reasons to enjoy food in their whole, raw state. And for those interested in bringing more raw foods into their life, the summertime poses as the perfect time to begin:

  • Firstly, fresh fruits and veggies are more plentiful, driving the cost down of organic produce way down. Seasonal favorites include zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, cucumber, peaches, and watermelon.
  • Secondly, due to the warmer temperatures, your body will naturally desire cooler foods so your system will be primed for the dietary changes.
  • And, of course, eating raw can naturally aid in weight loss, ideal for beach season.

While some people may find that a raw foods diet works with their lifestyle, at DEFINE foods we advocate eating in a way that makes you feel your best. With that said, incorporating a variety of foods is important to an overall healthy gut, so we want to share some of the benefits of enjoying raw foods.

Benefits Of Eating Raw

Our food choices can drastically affect any existing health conditions, our appearances, and our moods. Noticeable health benefits can result from adopting more raw fruits and vegetables into your diet. Full of antioxidants and nutrients, it’s no surprise that you may begin to notice the following after enjoying more raw foods:

  • Improved skin appearance
  • More natural energy
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Improved digestion

Sold on raw foods? Start to experiment with ways to increase your daily intake! A fun and creative meal to introduce more raw foods into your diet starts with soup. You might be thinking, “In this heat? No way!”

And that’s where we share a summertime favorite: gazpacho. This chilled, Spanish soup comes together in minutes and is full of the summer’s best ingredients.

Heirloom Tomato + Cucumber Gazpacho
{Yield: 4}
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
1 large cucumber, roughly chopped (plus more minced, for garnish)
3 large Heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (plus more minced, for garnish)
2 avocados, halved and pitted (plus more minced, for garnish)
sea salt to taste
Chalula Chile Lime hot sauce (optional)
Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
Place the garlic, lime juice, bell pepper, and cucumber into a food processor or blender and process until the mixture is mostly chopped.  Add the diced tomatoes and scooped-out avocado flesh and process about 1 minute more, or until the mixture is as finely blended as you’d like it.  Season to taste with sea salt and hot sauce, to your liking.
Place the Gazpacho in the refrigerator and chill for a few hours to develop flavors.  Serve cold, garnished with a little bit of finely chopped cucumber, avocado and tomato, if desired.

The summer heat is not cooling down anytime soon. Consider giving in to your body’s desire to fuel with more raw foods by enjoying some of our DEFINE foods salads. Our Week of Salads Meal Program option will keep your fridge stocked with raw meals that highlight fresh, whole vegetables and their natural flavors. You’ll be able to enjoy the summer heat with our cooling, crunchy, and hydrating meals delivered straight to you. 

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