Our cat, Sam, is a great testimonial to the healing power of raw foods. When we first saw Sam at the animal shelter, he was so straggly and icky looking that my husband, Dale, wasn’t interested in adopting him. We went home empty handed to think it over.
I reminded Dale that Sam had the qualities we wanted in a cat – a male who was affectionate and people-oriented. Sam was a stray who’d been rescued just in time before the winter temps dropped dangerously low. I assured Dale that a couple months of healthy (raw) food and he wouldn’t recognize the cat. So we brought Sam home.
Even I was amazed at the transformation that occurred. Sam is now one of the softest, sleekest, most handsome cats you will ever meet. People are always commenting on how soft and healthy our animals are. We know it’s because of the raw food they eat.
I began to wonder, if raw food can make such a positive difference in our animals, what might it do for us humans?
I’d been hearing about the health benefits of raw foods for several years. It made sense to me that foods have helpful enzymes that are destroyed in the cooking process. I love the idea of feeling energized after a raw foods meal rather than feeling ready to take a nap. But eating raw seemed like a lot more work than I was interested in doing. I love to eat, but I’m not interested in spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
Then I attended a raw foods workshop where I witnessed how easily yummy raw food recipes can be made. As I sampled these delicious, healthy and easy-to-make foods, I thought, “I can do this.” I left knowing it was time for a shift in my diet. I stopped at the food co-op on my drive home.
I began by making a green drink for breakfast. At first I used a blender and have since graduated to a Vitamix. I include 8 ounces of water, a tablespoon of Brewer’s Yeast, a sweet apple, half an avocado, and about 1 cup of greens. My greens include parsley, kale, chard, dandelion greens or spinach. Any greens will do. My body loves this drink; I feel nurtured and energized, and it takes just minutes to make. I may then have a raw sprouted cracker covered with scrumptious raw almond butter.
For lunch, I often eat a huge “rainbow” salad. Mine includes spinach, celery, carrots, cucumbers, red pepper and black olives. I use olive oil and humus for dressing. It’s easiest to buy already prepared humus. You can make it yourself with canned garbanzo beans that have been cooked. Or I now make a raw humus with soaked and sprouted garbanzo beans. The salad takes a while to eat and feels very satisfying. It can be made the night before and brought to work.
For dinner, I usually have lightly steamed or sauteed veggies by themselves or with fish or turkey. I enjoy sharing this meal with my husband who isn’t interested in so much raw food.
In addition to eating more raw foods, I also take supplements, get regular exercise and do other health-affirming things. It’s difficult to know what specifically causes what. I have found my digestion and elimination is the healthiest it’s been in years. My skin is smoother, my hair is shinier and I have more energy. It’s great to be feeling better and healthier in my 50s than I was in my 20s.
Whether it’s for you or for your companion animals, raw foods can be a great contributor to health and vitality. Start small, keep at it, and you’ll be amazed!