By: Meredith Youngson, Nutritionist and Founder of pür body nutrition.
“EAT MORE RAW FOODS.” One of the few intentions I set for myself in 2016. As a nutritionist and vegan, it is easy to romanticize the mountains of raw rainbow salads, smoothies and juices I’d be piling onto my plate January through December. Alas, nature has designed us to succumb to wintertime cravings for warm bowls of soups, roasted veggies, and grains- and I don’t usually argue with nature.
So why the focus on raw foods in 2016 for this constantly-cold Canadian?
Enzymes, my dear.
Enzymes are the pride and joy behind any raw foodie or juice fanatic.
Enzymes can be the difference between feeling sluggish, bloated and inflamed- and feeling vibrant.
Enzymes help us digest and assimilate nutrients, build muscle, detoxify, rest and rebuild our cells. They are our tiny little helpers that keep us chugging along happily at any given moment.
Our body produces enzymes, and under healthy conditions it produces enough that support key bodily processes. Unfortunately, with the foods that are prevalent in the Standard American Diet (sugar, unhealthy oils and processed foods) and overconsumption of pharmaceutical drugs, our bodies are having a trying time at producing enough enzymes to thrive and stay healthy.
The antidote to this enzyme-deficit trap?
Filling your plate with a portion of raw foods at every meal.
That’s all I ask. You don’t even have to eat 29 bananas like a fruitarian to be bouncing out of bed everyday.
Raw foods like spinach, soaked nuts or seeds decrease your body’s burden of making it’s own enzymes, by serving it some on a silver platter. A raw apple contains just precise amount of enzymes it needs to digest itself. A steak on the other hand contains no enzymes, and taxes the body of it’s resources in order to attempt to digest it properly. Overtime this imbalance can cascade into a series of events that burden your immune system, leading to mysterious sudden allergies, skin issues and other health disorders.
With that being said, if we are going to be eating raw, lets make it easy and delicious to do so.
These rainbow wraps contain a satisfying mix of raw AND cooked foods, making this January transition to lighter foods a little easier on all of us.
While we enjoyed these as a filling snack, they are show-stoppers when presented to guests as a healthy appetizer before a dinner party. I’m sure you will agree that everything is more fun in wrapped-up form, and the tangy Thai dip puts them in Thai-take out territory.