My Labor Day meal: raw collard green wrap, cole slaw and baby back rib
As I got ready to transition off the raw food program I was on for 28 days, the program director advised me that if I went back to eating cooked foods, I should make sure to eat at least one raw food item with my meals. She said the body responds to cooked foods as foreign invaders and the raw foods prevent that from happening. I don’t know about cooked food as foreign invader. God instructed His people to eat cooked food and Jesus ate cooked food while here on earth (Deuteronomy 12:5-7; Mark 14:12-18; John 21:9-13). What I do know is that God’s people did seem to eat raw foods with their meals as evidenced by their longing for cucumbers and leeks (herbs) along with some fish (Numbers 11:5). And I don’t know too many people who eat cooked cucumbers, but my point is this that I have found to be true for my own body: raw foods complement cooked foods in taste and digestion so I suggest we eat this way.
Some of you may already be doing this, like when you add a garnish of onions and tomatoes to your cooked greens. I do this, too, but here are a few more ways to add raw foods to your meal (though all ingredients may not be raw):
Food garnishes—In addition to tomatoes and onions to my greens, I add them to my beans. Cucumber is my choice garnish for anything garlicky, like falafel or hummus. I also put cucumbers and avocado on my burgers.
Salads—Some of you may eat a salad before your cooked meal but try eating one along with your cooked meal. If you make a loaded one, that has nuts and seeds in addition to your choice veggies, you increase your raw food intake and can decrease your cooked food intake. Remember, the enzymes that help your body digest your food are fully present in raw foods and are largely destroyed from the heat in cooked foods.
Slaws—Cole slaw and carrot slaws are my choices. Eat these alongside your meal on regular occasions and not just when you eat that rib or shrimp dinner from your favorite local spot. See my carrot slaw recipe below.
Drinks—We probably have all heard that we should wait until after we eat to drink our beverage, but what if your beverage is food? I think we should drink our food as we eat. So juice some vegetables and consume this along with your cooked meal.
So why not have the best of both worlds right on your dinner plate? You can have what you like and still do your body good.
1 teaspoon of relish
2 teaspoons of your favorite mayonnaise or sandwich spread (My choice is a soy-free dressing I get at the health food grocery store.)
Shred carrots, add relish and mayonnaise, mix and serve.