Jillian Love is a Bay Area raw food chef who’s been eating raw for almost 15 years. She decided to go raw in 1997 after having an amazing experience doing a two week raw cleanse that changed her life. We got together to talk about the benefits of raw food and practical ways to add raw to your life.
THE QUICK NOTES
- Food takes energy to process
- You want to optimize your performance by eating food that your body can easily digest
- Processed food has lots of toxins and leaves you feeling sluggish after meals
- Eating raw gives you consistent energy throughout the day – no crazy highs and lows
- Take baby steps – drink more water, have salad one meal a day
- Symptoms that your body is over loaded with toxins: irritable, start getting colds more often, reduced sex drive, distractible, trouble sleeping, rings under your eyes bad skin (rashes, breaking out)
JILLIAN’S AWESOME RAW FRESH BASIL GARLIC PESTO
(Jump to 11 minutes in the video to watch her make it)
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp Non GMO miso
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ pine nuts soaked and dehydrated
Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse with “S” blade till desired consistency. You can also use a blender if a food processor is not available. This will make a more saucy smooth pesto and you may need to add additional oil for there to be enough liquid for the blender to work properly.
Pesto sauce is great served over Kelp noodles (rinse well and drain before eating). You can also enjoy raw pesto sauce on spiralized zucchini noodles, spread on raw crackers, or as a dip for raw veggies.
THE WHOLE STORY
Food is energy and food takes energy to process. You want to optimize your fuel by expending the least amount of energy for the highest return. Raw and organic food isn’t processed. It’s not made up of sugar, it’s not fried, and doesn’t contain all sorts of chemicals you can’t pronounce. When you’re eating raw, you’re consuming lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains.
As a result, your body is able to process meals more efficiently. After a big meal you’re not bogged down on a couch trying to process all that food. When you need less energy to deal with digestion, you have more energy to be active and do fun things like running, yoga, shopping, and taking care of kids.
Your body also has more energy to heal itself. Processed food contains toxins and leaves you feeling sluggish after eating. Symptoms that you might be eating too much junk food include: being irritable, getting sick more often, having a reduced sex drive, having trouble focusing, trouble sleeping, rings under your eyes and bad skin.
A good way to think about healthy eating is as a type of continuum of food choices. On one side you have Twinkies, McDonalds, and Coca Cola representing terrible food choices. On the other side you have green juices and organic salads. The further you move yourself along the continuum in big or little steps, the better you will feel. The important thing is that you always try to make positive progress along the continuum.
Small changes can go a long way. Just drinking more water throughout the day will improve the way you feel. Try drinking 4 cups of water as soon as you wake up – your body cleanses first thing in the morning and this will flush out all the toxins in your system.
Make one meal a day a salad. Dinner makes for a great salad meal because lighter food is easier to process when you’re sleeping. Throw in all your favorite vegetables, add some fruit and nuts, go all out on the greens. You will sleep better because your body won’t have to deal with digesting a heavy meal and you’ll wake up feeling great.
Other great ways to get started with raw are:
- Take a raw food workshop or go on a retreat. You can do a one day retreat and learn how to make some new dishes to add to your diet.
- Try eating one raw meal a day (the recipe below is a delicious way to start!)
- Get a raw food cook book and try a new recipe each week. Jillian recommends I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude and Raw Food / Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow
Check out Jillian’s upcoming three day spring raw yoga retreat.