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When my husband starting running marathons with me he was very curious about my recovery. He said “I do not understand how you are not sore!” We would return from the race and his body would seize, where I would be fine after my shower and ready to go back to teach my group fitness classes the next day. When he made his transition to a plant based diet, his body recovered faster as well. The difference is the fuel!

Why eat more RAW plant based foods?

There are so many benefits to that big salad, making our own juice, and those fruit and veggie smoothies. High temperatures destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your food. When that happens your body has to produce the enzymes to digest the food, creating stress on your body. Wouldn’t you rather have extra energy for daily activities and also extra energy to recover from your workouts instead of bogging yourself down needing that energy to digest your food? Also, when you get older, enzyme production reduces dramatically which makes it even harder to digest cooked foods (bet you thought the opposite!). Further, in modern processed foods, there are practically no enzymes in it, creating more challenges. Raw foods carry so many benefits to our digestive health. Besides the nutrients we readily absorb, the enzymes are present to help in digestion. Add some fresh sprouts to your salad instead of cooked beans or legumes and you have reduced gas production during digestion and the nutritional benefits skyrocket, not to mention fiber content eliminates toxins during digestion, making us even healthier.

Sprouting

Sprouts are power food packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, and protein.

Sprouting enhances the nutritional value of your food versus cooking. You can also soak nuts and seeds to increase nutritional value and improve digestibility. Sprouting is easy, all you need is dried legumes (beans, lentils, etc), a jar and cheesecloth with a rubber band. Soak overnight then drain and rinse the following morning. Rinse and drain 2x per day for the next few days and you have an easily digestible nutritional powerhouse! DO NOT WORRY YOU WILL NOT BE OVERLOADED WITH GAS!!! In fact, sprouts have way reduced gas, the gases are released when rinsed and left out during the couple days’ sprouting process!

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is plant’s blood. It synthesizes energy and it prized for its ability to cleanse our blood. It is linked to red blood cell production which means more oxygen in our blood, which means more energy! So, Eat chlorophyll rich foods and pair that up with exercise and you have a much biologically younger body! Chlorophyll is also present in a lot of plant based foods, especially leafy greens (something we should be eating a LOT of anyway!)

Juicing

If you own a juicer and haven’t used it yet, here is incentive to start! You will not get as much fiber since the pulp is retained BUT you will get nutrients and antioxidants by juicing vegetables, ideal if you are interested in cleansing. Celery, cucumber, leafy greens such as kale, chard and spinach, carrot, beet, lemon, ginger and herbs like parsley are great things to juice. Think of this as your “nutritional insurance” instead of using powdered and dried supplements. Focus more on juicing vegetables and add a bit of lemon or ginger to take the edge off while giving a cleansing and soothing effect from adding them.

Smoothies – blender choices

Smoothies leave the fiber in, which I like to have, it can be used as a snack or even as a meal (I like to have a big smoothie as the start to my day) I use the Blendtec HP3A with the 4″ blade. This blender is one of the BEST investments I have made for our families health. We make smoothies and soups as well as a healthy vegan ice cream treat using frozen bananas.

A smoothie favorite:

My liquid insurance for the day starts with a fruit and vegetable smoothie. This is one of my favorites:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1 peeled lemon (sometimes I leave a little bit of pith and peel on)
  • 1/2 organic cucumber
  • 2 stalks organic celery
  • 4-5 leaves of kale, stems removed

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