You may already have heard of the raw foods diet and dismissed it as just another California fad. It's popular in Hollywood; with LA being the raw foods mecca of the world (I believe there are more than 20 raw restaurants and cafes in LA). But I'd like to take a moment to explain about the diet a little more, so you can consider if it's something you are interested in exploring.
The kind of raw foods approach that I promote, and that my family and I live by, actually has much more in common with how we would've always eaten historically, than most modern diets.
Consider that it's only since the 1950s that packaged and processed foods have been a part of the diet. Over the last six decades, the proportion of wholefoods in the majority diet has diminished and this has coincided with an alarming rise of all kinds of health issues.
When you were a child, how many people did you know who had cancer? Now, everyone has someone close to them who has suffered. Was there even such a thing as autism and ADHD? Certainly, not enough cases to be able to label it as a specific disorder. From heart disease to diabetes to asthma and eczema, every health issue you can think of is on the rise and I don't believe it's any coincidence.
Our diet is high in raw fruits and vegetables. To these we supplement sprouts, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds, and superfoods.
It may sound boring, but we enjoy dishes such as lasagna, pizza, noodles, curry, burgers and falafel regularly. We eat cakes, desserts and candy without guilt because they are so good for us.
OK, not all dishes so closely resemble their original cooked counterparts, but uncooking really allows the flavors to shine through and people are constantly wowed by how dynamic and appealing raw cuisine can be.
And as raw foods isn't an all or nothing diet, it's easy to get started. Most people who classify themselves as raw fooders are on a high raw diet and still enjoy cooked dishes regularly.
All you need to do to begin is to up the percentage of raw in your diet to 50%. Make your breakfast from fruits and nuts, or have a raw granola or porridge. Have a juice or smoothie every day, include a salad at every meal, and still enjoy your favorite lunches and dinners alongside it.
When you start feeling the benefits, I guarantee you'll naturally want to eat more raw so you can get more of that on top of the world feeling they call the raw high!
Here's an easy stuffed avocado recipe to get you going. Basically, I love avocados and any excuse to eat a whole one is good with me. Avocados are a very sensual food, and have been eaten to increase sexual desire for thousands of years. The stuffing in this recipe is wonderfully light and flavorsome, and will leave you satiated but with plenty of energy for the bedroom (or the kitchen or the dining room or wherever you like to spend time after you've enjoyed some aphrodisiacs!).
You'll need 10 minutes and a food processor. Serve half as an accompaniment to salad, or both halves as a quick but filling snack lunch.
Start by grinding up the gojis and coconut together, either in a grinder or high powered blender. Then transfer them to your food processor, or continue in your high powered blender. Add in the celery, ginger, Herbamare and cauliflower, and process until it's as smooth as it will go. Finally, add the tahini and process one last time.
Take your avocados, slice them in half lengthways, and remove the stones. Take big spoonfuls of your mixture, and use it to fill the holes where the stones were. You should have enough to spread a thin layer of stuffing over the top of the avocado. Sprinkle some alfalfa sprouts over the top, and you're done. Eat immediately. How long they keep is dependent entirely on the quality of your avocados, but most avocados don't do so well once they have been cut open.
Kate Magic is one of the world's best loved raw foods and superfoods experts. She is Creative Director of the Raw Living website which is Europe's largest resource for raw foods and superfoods. She's also author of three best-selling raw lifestyle books, including her latest Raw Magic - Superfoods for SuperPeople (Process Media 2012). She is raising three children on raw, and has a busy international schedule teaching classes and workshops on raw cuisine. You can see more of Kate's work on Katesmagicbubble.com.