Although an exclusively raw vegetable diet may be too extreme for some, a lot of us could likely benefit from more fruits and veggies in our diets. Plus, they're not just for rabbits anymore, either. Still, I won’t try to tell you (or the giraffe) that a raw vegetable diet will cure All your ills or take fifty pounds off you in a month or two.
And most assuredly not if you're chomping cheeseburgers and eating
doughnuts at the same time. (I'm talking to you, dedicated carnivores
and/or pastry lovers.) But fruits and veggies (raw or otherwise) may go a long way toward easing at least some of your ills and also taking off some of those extra pounds.
Why? Because veggies bring great stuff to the party: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, antioxidants, and phyto-chemicals all wrapped up for you in packages of every color. Not only are they beautiful, but they're also really good for you.
Ah, but you’re just not that crazy about certain veggies, you say? Well, neither am I, and I’m a vegetarian (yeah, go figure). But you know what? Veggies sometimes taste a Lot better to some of us raw than cooked: as good a reason as any to buddy up now and then with a raw vegetable diet.
So maybe give those veggies you think you don’t like another shot. Perhaps you'll discover that you’re actually crazy about some of them...with or without a dip. For example, Brussels sprouts taste quite good raw, especially thinly sliced into a salad or sandwich—nice and peppery. Uncooked or even merely "under-cooked," certain vegetables take on an entirely different character.
And speaking of dips and sauces, perhaps reconsider dressings on lettuce-based salads. Why? Because almost immediately those lovely greens begin to wilt and grow soggy when drenched with a dressing. But if that dressing is served alongside the salad (or passed around the table) so that diners who wish can dress their own just before eating, the main salad stays crisp and yummy. Plus, any leftovers will likely work the next day for lunch or breakfast. (Try it; you might like it.)
Another suggestion: save the oily/creamy dressings for salads that either don’t feature delicate greens at all or that use them as a bed for more-robust ingredients. For example...
The great thing about this kind of diet is that you can work toward it in stages, instead of racing out to buy another refrigerator for all the veggies you start buying by the bushel. Also, by advancing one step at a time, you’re likely to generate less resistance from yourself and your “old ways.” So, the changes you’re making in your eating habits are more likely to become permanent.
With raw veggies, a gradual approach is good from a physical standpoint, as well. Since vegetables have a lot of fiber, overdoing things at the start could stir up some serious discomfort. After all, who wants to walk around puffed up like a balloon, right?
But if you take all this a step at a time, adding another veggie every few days, you’ll eventually get your diet to a good place for you. And your body and taste buds will thank you. One day, maybe you'll even start growing a few of your own F&V...and there's a happy thought!
Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
Copyright 2010-2023. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.