Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eat It Raw!

Greetings LIFEers - this summer we are trying to get you healthier! Hot on the heels of Dr. Hayden's class about the health benefits of Omega 3s, today's LIFE class was all about the health benefits of eating raw foods. We were joined by Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, a Rice graduate with a degree in Kinesiology who also founded Rawfully Organic, a coop here in Houston which brings in organic foods from around the country. Kristina shared with us her success story eating the raw food diet, and shared with us some recipes from her website, (see link below).

Kristina was diagnosed hyperglycemia at age 16. She was in the grocery store one day when she was approached by a stranger asking her if she was a raw foodie. Not knowing anything about it at the time, Kristina did some research, and decided to try the raw food diet. After 30 days, Kristina felt noticeably better, and her blood sugar was testing within the normal range. After a year and a half of the raw food diet, Kristina's condition was gone. Now in her early 20s, she runs several miles a day and keeps up with her blood tests, but her doctor reports her health is excellent.

Inspired by this turnaround, she started working with organic farmers to bring more organic foods into the Houston area. She began by selling the food (not-for-profit) out her garage, which evolved into the Rawfully Organic coop, with several locations around Houston. The coop prices are on par with, and sometimes less than, organic food prices at regular grocery stores.

Suggested books on the raw food diet:

  • The China Study by Colin Campbell (available in the library)

  • The 80-10-10 Diet by Douglas N. Graham

Suggested equipment: Vitamix blender - Kristina makes a lot of smoothies with leafy greens that regular blenders have trouble with


Smoothie Recipes:

  • Blueberry Peach
    5-6 Peaches
    2 Cartons of Blueberries

  • Banana Blueberry
    5-6 Bananas
    1 Carton of Blueberries

  • Blueberry Kiwi
    5 Kiwis
    2-3 Cartons of Blueberries

  • Blueberry Strawberry Banana
    3-4 Bananas
    1-2 Cartons of Blueberries
    Handful of Strawberries

  • Blueberry Nectarine
    4 Bananas
    3-4 Nectarines

  • Blueberry Pineapple
    2 Cartons of Blueberries
    1/2 a RIPE Pineapple

Mexican Sweet Corn Salad:

2-3 Ears of Sweet Corn
3-4 Tomatoes (Add More if Desired)
1/2 or One Full Cucumber Diced
1 Stalk of Celery
1 Red Bell Pepper (Optional if picked as a choice item)
Fourth of One Yellow Onion (Optional)
Quarter of One Avocado (Optional)
Bunch of Basil, Cilantro, or Parsley (Free to add a little of all if desired)
Half of One Fresh Squeezed Lemon
For Extra Pizazz, Add in a PEACH!

Cut and dice up all ingredients and mix into a bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together until the flavors mix and create a savory salad!

The Side Salsa:
4-5 Tomatoes
Third of an Avocado
4 Celery Stalks
Slice of Yellow Onion
Herb of Choice
Fresh Squeezed Lemon or Lime (optional)

In a food processor, combine all ingredients for a short period of time and then pour over salad! Mix!!

Baby Bok Choy Salad:
1-2 heads of baby bok choy (depends on for how many you are preparing)
Juice of 1-2 Lemons
Bunch of Cilantro
Quarter of Red, Green, or Yellow Onion
1 Garlic Clove (optional)
1 Cucumber
1/4 of One Avocado (optional)
1 Tomato (optional)

Chop up the baby bok choy stalks until they are good to put into a salad. Tiny chunks are much better here.
Dice the cilantro, tomato, avocado, and onions together.
Dice up half of the cucumber, and save the other half for the dressing.
Put these ingredients on top of the salad, and mix them in with your hands. That's right, get messy! Eating with your hands is liberating!
For the dressing, you have two options.
For the first option, you can merely sprinkle the salad with a squeeze of your lemon, chop up a TINY bit of garlic, and mesh it all within your salad.
For the second option, you can use the other half of the cucumber and blend it in your vitamix with a stalk or two of celery, lemon juice from one lemon, a bit of cilantro, and a TINY bit of garlic. If you wish, you can add in a tablespoon of raw sesame seeds to grind in the mix.
Enjoy this salad, and be creative with it! The more flavors, the better for this one!

Learn more about Christina and the Rawfully Organic coop at their website,

Eat healthy and stay happy my friends!

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