Raw Foods for Vitality

Enjoy today’s guest post by Jamie Leedom of Juicy Raw Beauty!

Fresh zucchini pasta topped with raw garlic scape pesto and dried black olives

While raw foods are trendy these days, there seems to be much confusion about this group of foods. I’d like to demystify raw foods as well as the preparation process. Raw food consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, sprouts, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that haven’t been heated above 115 degrees to preserve the maximum amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These water rich, alkaline foods assist the body in detoxification as well as nourish our cells and help promote a vibrant state of health while warding off disease.

Raw food and nutrition were not always close to my heart, in fact, far from it. I grew up a particularly picky child and was raised on the standard American diet. My preferences were lots of refined flour and sugar in the form of mac and cheese, pizza, pasta, soda, candy, and fast food galore. As an adult the cycle of poor food choices was broken by reading the book Fast Food Nation. I immediately went vegan and began my search for optimal health. After eating a vegan diet high in starches and very little fresh food, I discovered the raw food diet. I jumped into a raw foods lifestyle and it profoundly impacted not only my health, but my outlook on life. I experienced energy and mental clarity that I didn’t even know existed. I gained a greater sense of the beauty that is available to us every minute as well as the long term changes possible when we clear our minds and hearts through outstanding dietary and lifestyle practices.

Over the past seven years through much trial and error, I’ve learned what works not only for my body, but for my palate. I love creating raw food dishes to expose others to vibrant fresh food that is appealing to eat and makes you feeling good. Although raw foods can be complicated, my style is easy to assemble dishes using readily available ingredients. Utilizing fresh, organic and local high quality produce automatically makes every dish a bit tastier, and is a key to success. Everyday kitchen tools such as a knife, blender and food processor are all that is needed to create delicious dishes. All the recipes I enjoy making are easily modified to create countless new dishes with a little imagination. Raw food preparation can be easy, fun and fast and is a great tool to take your health to the next level. If this sounds appealing to you, please join me May 31st for my class Raw Vegan Spring Food focusing on the gorgeous spring food available to us. If you’re not available for this class, please consider Raw Vegan Summer Foods on June 21st, highlighting the abundance of fresh foods Lancaster county has to offer.

All food used will be organic and locally sourced when possible. Tickets are $30/person (generous portions will be available for sampling!). To RSVP, contact Jamie at juicyrawbeauty@yahoo.com or 717-945-4755. I hope to see you there!

Jamie Leedom

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