Raw and Daring Foods

I love this time of year!
I love the newness, the life, the freshness, the hope. From early spring to fall; from the first shoot of asparagus to the last pumpkin; we are smack-dab in the middle an absolute smorgasbord of possibilities that could transform you from the inside out.
I have a secret I’m going to share. But then I have a challenge for you.
Several years ago, I undertook the foreboding task of rebuilding my “me”. Basically, my health stunk.
I was constantly sluggish and fatigued. My mind was a fog. I was depressed. My skin and my weight were taking on an ugly life of their own. I was wrestling with several different, shall we say, “food-related” issues.
I stood hopelessly by as friends my age were receiving crazy diagnosis. Wondering if I was next.
This just should not be, we were supposed to be young and vibrant, young adults in our “prime”, but all the same, it was real.
I want to introduce to you the single most effective and easiest step I ever took to rebuilding my health.
Within a week, this one little change had the most amazing effect on my life. My mind was clear; I was needing less sleep, but awaking refreshed. I had strength and energy to take on all those little tasks that just days before overwhelmed me. My clothes fit better, my skin had color. My appetite had changed. I wasn’t hungry all the time. Those merciless “cravings” seemed to be silenced.
I had begun eating raw fruits and vegetables. They became a large part of my life. No longer just a side-dish ,a snack or the traditional starter salad, they became a staple of my life.
There is something intrinsically different about raw fruits and veggies. They are rich in powerful little dynamos called “enzymes”; which are sometimes referred to as the “life” in the plant. Enzymes are the biochemical foundation for thousands of digestive and metabolic functions within the body. About 5,000 different enzymes have been identified so far. Some researchers have estimated that it takes about 100,000 enzymes to run the body. We absolutely need them. Enzymes are keys that unlock nutrients and without them we cannot process all the needed vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats from out other food.
The problem arises, however, in that the act of heating degrades enzymes in fruits and vegetables. Enzymes start to die at 105 degrees, but all are destroyed at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. And although your body, at one time, produced its own digestive enzymes, that process greatly slows down by your early thirties.
You benefit indescribably from eating fruits and veggies as nature made them; raw, full of life, enzymes and nutrition.
So, this is my challenge to anyone who, like me, awas sick and tired of being sick and tired:
For the next remaining weeks take advantage of our amazing Manitoba summer. Now is the time when raw fruits and veggies abound! Eat them! Eat lots of them! Eat more than you ever have.
If you don’t have your own garden, get to know those folks with the roadside garden stands and in the farmers markets. Now is when people are overrun with lettuce, zucchini, beans and raspberries and are looking for someone to take them off their hands!
I won’t tell you how much more to eat. We all need to start at our own place. I know some of you haven’t touched a raw veggie in 20 years, but still, I dare ya! Just start.
Look at how often these foods get on your plate in the past, and for the next week try to double that.

How do you feel? Is there a difference? Can you double that the next week?
Get creative. Get bold. There is so many ways to slip fruits and veggies into your life. Trade your slurpee for a smoothie made with fresh raspberries and saskatoons. Raw gazpacho soups are a favorite way to cool down with cucumbers. Even leaving off that second beef patty and fattening up your burger with lettuce, tomatoes and onions will make a difference.

A rapidly growing passion for natural health has made the Internet a treasure trove of delicious recipes for raw salads, side dishes, and even entries. The possibilities go far beyond iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing.

Please be sure to write with the recipes you have discovered. Challenge your friends and family. Keep in touch here at the Banner or at natural_path@mts.net of how you are making out. I, too, have laid out some yummy new goals for the rest of my summer.
I would love to hear from who’s going to join me?

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