March 9, 2010

Eating Raw Foods: Salad Recipes for Healthy Bodies and Busy Minds

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.
– Hippocrates

How well do you eat during the busy days of the week? Eating well is essential and can be enjoyable and rewarding and smart. And eating well allows your mind to be sharp, productive, creative and free to write, to think, to plan, to accomplish, and to focus. The more care and attention you put into what your body consumes, the easier it will be to break bad habits and terrible cravings.

These salads are excellent for those craving energy, creativity and productivity in the latter half of the day. I pulled together a variety of my favorite salad recipes, all of which boost my productivity as the day melts into the hot, long, and fabulous afternoon hours. While I love – absolutely and positively love – to eat, I love my body and mind more, and it is through eating consciously well that we are able to cultivate all good things including creativity and energy!

What’s for lunch? As much as I love juicing,  solid food calls my name by mid-day. Chewing should not be under-rated! Raw foods in general have become one of my best friends, and the choices available to us in just the vegetable category is remarkable!

So it’s lunch time, mid-day, you are barely caught up with the morning mass of email and tasks, and are craving time to do something worthwhile before the end of the day. Finding food that serves other than fuel probably seems like a waste of time but I urge you not to overlook this huge “detail” in your day planning. I have shared with you some of the most delicious salads I whip up on a regular basis, and a few that I treat myself to now and again. Try these recipes just a few times, and see if your mind is not sharper and your body far more energetic for hours afterward. Boun Appetito!

Tips on Salad Ingredients:

1. Avocado: From local Harris Teeter
2. Romaine Lettuce or Mesculin Mix: Whole Foods, always organic.
3. Ingredients from Trader Joe’s:  Sun dried Tomatoes, Black Olives, Pine Nuts, Roasted Red Peppers and Hummus
4. Fresh Herbs and Vegetables home-grown: Sweet Basil, Oregano, Banana Peppers.

A Word about Dressing:

Really, it’s quite simple. As much as possible, stay away from dressing in a bottle.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo as fancy restaurants love to call it).
Rice Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar.
Herbs or Spices: Fresh ground pepper. Dill. Mint. Oregano.

Important Rule of Thumb:

This rule I learned from Natalia Rose (see my book review) and it makes a real difference in your digestion: Mixing Smart!

I follow these rules: Never mix proteins and dairy and rarely mix proteins or dairy with carbohydrates. That means, if I have a salad with proteins, I do not add dairy. I make exceptions sometimes to add some bread to the protein or dairy if I am very hungry. Usually, I try to add enough variety and taste to complete it as a meal, as you will see. The goodness from these small details is huge so pay attention!

Refreshing and Delicious Salad Recipes:

Recipe #1:
Fresh small cucumbers. Tomatoes on the Vine. Avocado. Green Onions. Romaine Lettuce. Fresh spinach. Black Olives topped with a helping of Hummus.

Recipe #2:
Cooked beets (one of my favorite additions to a salad). Banana Peppers. Nappa Cabbage. Fresh sweet basil. Green Onions. Olives. Pine Nuts. Romaine Lettuce. Squeeze of Lime.

Recipe #3:
A reminder of an Amsterdam meal: Melted brie cheese with a dab of raw honey. Small slices of whole grain bread. Cherry Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Avocados. Romaine Lettuce. Carrots.

Recipe #4:
Sun Dried tomatoes. Romaine Lettuce. Black Olives. Pine Nuts.  Baby carrots. White Onion. Fresh Rosemary.

About the Author: Farnoosh is a new columnist at Elephant Journal. She created her own blog, Prolific Living, with a vision of embodying the essence of vitality by living a prolific life by conscious eating, voracious reading, diligent yoga, constant traveling, insatiable appreciation of the arts and by imparting that experience to its beloved readers, you!

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