Take a Bite Out of the Raw Food Diet

by Steph Rodriguez

Everyone’s health could benefit from the natural vitamins and nutrients found in raw fruits and veggies.
In fact, the power of leafy greens alone are a guaranteed way to get more fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium into a diet. But the raw food diet isn’t a new fad. In fact, there are several books that date back to the early 1900s such as author Eugene Christian’s Uncooked Foods and How to Use Them that boast the power of eating raw.

Those who choose to eat a completely raw diet follow simple rules. They consume mostly plant-based meals that consist of a lot of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains (sprouted or soaked), nut-based milks such as almond milk, nut-butters, and some people even choose to eat raw eggs or meat, if desired.

Food is considered raw if it hasn’t been heated more than 104 to 118 degrees, but those who practice a raw food diet use alternative methods such as juicing, blending, and dehydrating as ways to prepare their meals. Of course processed or refined foods are discouraged as is alcohol, coffee, and tea. What’s more, foods should not be refined, pasteurized or treated with pesticides.

The claims behind the raw food movement say eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state keeps the quality of the nutrients and enzymes at their optimum; meaning that the consumer receives all the benefits.

For Sheri Didreckson, eating healthy isn’t just a once in awhile choice, but a lifestyle. Sheri recalls her grandmother instilling in her at a young age that eating well is vital to a healthy and long life.

“I’ve always been very health-conscious and my grandmother was very holistic-minded and she never cooked out of a box or a can,” Sheri says. “She taught me the importance of eating right when I was younger and it just kind of stuck with me.”

Sheri is the president of Sheri’s Sonshine Nutrition Center in downtown Lodi, a health store that caters to specialty diets by providing organic vitamins and supplements. She says when she wakes up in the morning one of the first choices she prefers for breakfast is a simple fruit salad because of the energy it gives her.

“I personally think that I feel so much better when I eat raw versus process food. You can see a big difference,” Sheri says. “They digest better in your system and they’re healthier for you. I definitely have more energy, more stamina. I have a better outlook on life when I eat more raw food.”

Sheri says a great way to eat raw fruits and veggies is juicing, but also recommends keeping juice either strictly fruit-based or veggie-based to help eliminate indigestion (and gas).

“I try to eat as many raw foods as I possibly can, that would be my first choice of food to eat. I do a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. I know a lot of people who are doing smoothies to incorporate them into your diet that way,” Sheri says. “My favorite method would be a salad where you incorporate lettuce, carrots, celery, and shredded raw beets are really good. The next best thing that I would do would be juice. You can juice any and everything like squash, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and spinach.”

To eliminate bitter or sour tastes, she suggests using lemon juice or an apple for balance and flavor.

For More Information:
Sheri’s Sonshine Nutrition Center
6 N. School St., in Lodi, Calif.
(209) 368-4800

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