Brooke: These look sooooo good! I need a raw food restaurant in central Illinois to make these for me Or maybe I...
Written by Tera on June 8, 2012 – -
by Joanna Steven
When I released my eBook Well Rounded: The Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Raw Food Pregnancy, I asked people for questions and planned to release a separate, free eBook with the answers. Few questions were actually sent, and I hope that the great feedback I got from readers means that the eBook answered any questions they had regarding healthy raw food pregnancies!
I decided to answer the handful of questions I did receive right here on the blog. If you personally have a question that was not answered, contact me! I’ll be happy to help.
A reader asks:Hi Joanna, I need to eat more calories (I currently average about 1000 a day) although I’m constantly eating fruit and drinking green smoothies. I do not include lots of nuts and seeds in my diet, because I believe in a low fat raw diet.Can you advise me on how to get more calories in?
Calories and raw foods are a big issue, and even more so during pregnancy. I remember someone saying in a body building forum: “I challenge anyone to get fat on fruit”. It’s true, fruit, while sweet and relatively rich in calories, won’t make you gain much weight.
The reason is that fruits are high in water and fiber, both of which make you feel full, but aren’t really high in calories. Many low fat raw foodists say that you need to train yourself to eat more and expand your stomach, which doesn’t sound very appealing.
So even though you might feel like you’re eating fruit left and right all day and never feel hungry, you’re not actually eating anything substantial… And unfortunately, you are not getting enough nutrition either. You won’t get the whole spectrum of amino acids, you won’t get enough selenium, you won’t get enough zinc, etc.
It is easy to think that fat is unhealthy; after all, aren’t we bombarded day and night with advertisements for cholesterol lowering drugs, news of different forms of fat that are clogging our arteries, and more? But the truth is that not all fats are born equal.
Unheated vegetable fats like olive oil can be very beneficial in providing healthy vitamins and easily digested fats, certain oils also lend themselves well to cooking, like coconut oil, and many vitamins are dependent on our fat intake in order to be absorbed by the body.
Of course, it goes without saying that in wanting to have a healthy pregnancy, certain unhealthy fats have to go (like trans fats, deep fried food, unhealthy fast food etc).
But overall, you should never feel guilty for drizzling organic olive oil on freshly picked tomatoes, or adding a handful of pine nuts to your pesto sauce.
Nuts and seeds contain phytic acid, but sprouting them helps destroy some of it, making the nuts and seeds not only easier to digest, but more nutrient dense as well.The process is simple. Simply set out as many quart sized glass jars as needed (one for each type of nut or seed), fill them half way (2 cups), and top them with pure water.
Leave the nuts and seeds to soak overnight, and the next day, set each nut or seed on a dehydrator tray to dry out for about 12 hours. This really is not a lot of work, all you are doing is waiting for the nuts to rehydrate, and then drying them. Most of the work is passive: the water and dehydrator do nearly everything while you just wait for the sprouting and drying process to be done. Once the nuts are dry, I place them in the same quart jars (washed and dried), and place them in the freezer. They are then ready to use whenever I need them.
I don’t mean to say that we should get the bulk of our nutrition through nuts and seeds, far from it! But they do have their time and place in a well balanced diet. A fruit smoothie in the morning made with fresh almond milk is balanced, nutritious, high in healthy fats, and a great carrier for any superfoods you wish to add. A handful of walnuts in a green salads with a garlicky dressing is a wonderful way to absorb all the fat soluble nutrients present in the leafy greens.
A sunflower seed cracker is great topped with fresh sprouts, avocado slices, tomato slices etc.Our growing body and baby need fat in order to protect themselves and store nutrition for eventual times when we may not eat so well — if for example we have particularly bad morning sickness, or later on during pregnancy when the baby is pushing against the digestive organs and our appetite is reduced.
What I like to do is just increase my consumption of water rich green vegetables whenever I feel I’m eating too many fatty foods (which, I repeat, are a great source of nutrition). For example, if I have a nut pate with my lunch, I will have 3 cups of green juice in the morning. If I have an almond milk smoothie as a snack, I will have a large salad for dinner with lots of veggies, etc. It’s all about balance! Saying that nuts are too high in fat means nothing, you need to look at it in relation to your entire diet.