Meet Joanne Raia: The Giada DiLaurentiis of Raw Food

Are you health conscious with a sophisticated palate and new or curious about raw food but not sure where to begin? Do you lead a busy lifestyle and no time to expand your healthy and recipe library? Would you like to incorporate some easy raw food into your meals to better meet your nutritional and lifestyle goals?

I felt the same way. I am health conscious and loved simple and elegant food but didn’t know how to get started until I was faced with a health challenge.

For years, I was a Software Engineer where I had to put the software through tests to ensure that the customer would have a great user experience and now instead of doing that with software; I do it with Raw Food.

A few years back I was feeling sluggish, fatigued, and foggy. I had food and skin allergies and I was overweight. I felt like I was 20 years older than I really was. I really had to drag myself around.

I went from doctor to doctor and specialist to specialist but nothing worked until I radically changed my diet to help support my body in healing itself. My transition was radical and that’s when I got hooked on raw food.

But, the recipes that were out there were unappealing to me – I grew up in an Italian/Greek household where food was the centerpiece of our lives. It was celebrated every day and my Mom was a phenomenal cook. Naturally, that’s where I developed my love of gourmet food.

I began scouring books, experts and vast array of resources to build a recipe library that not only serves and supports my nutritional needs but also tantalizes my taste buds and satisfies my need for love of my food.

Now, I help busy health conscious people with sophisticated palates how to incorporate, prepare easy, on the go, nutritious meals that tantalizes their taste buds, satisfies their need for love of their food and helps them meet their optimal lifestyle goals.

THIS IS WHY my clients refer to me as “The Giada DeLaurentiis” of Raw Food.

What Is Raw Food?

What is raw food? Is it a diet or lifestyle? I prefer to call it a lifestyle. You can start incorporating some raw foods into the meals you are already eating. I noticed that as I added one raw food after another, I felt fabulous and had more energy and vitality! So I added more raw food and here I am eating mostly raw food about 75%-80% of the time!

The answer to the question what is raw food? Raw food consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds not cooked over 115 degrees, where most enzymes are lost!

What are enzymes?

What happens when food is heated over 115 degrees? When we heat our food over 115 degrees, we start to loose the enzymes that are in the food as well as vitamins, minerals and other proteins. The enzymes are made up of various proteins and are an important part of various functions in our body. If you eat food with the raw food in tact then your body doesn’t have to work so hard to digest that food.

Benefits of Raw Food Lifestyle

You can easily incorporate raw food ingredients that will increase focus, boost energy, feel vibrant and tantalize your taste! I found that my skin developed a glow, my energy increased and I felt happier!

These are some of my favorite nutrient rich raw food recipes that keep me going and are delicious! These recipes you can make and store in the refrigerator and pull them out when you are on-the-go!

Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

From www.rawfoodbetsy.com

Chia Seeds

Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons chia seed

1/3 cup almond milk

2 Tablespoons blueberries

2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped (or broken up by hand)

1 teaspoon hemp seeds

1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)

Instructions:

Place the chia seed and almond milk in a cereal bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes.  The chia will absorb much of the almond milk, grow three times its original size and become gelatinous.  Add in a handful of fresh blueberries and pecans, then sprinkle the hemp seeds and add a dollop of honey on top.

Chia Seeds

One ounce of chia seeds provides 138 calories, 4.4 grams of protein, 8.7 grams of fat and 12.4 grams of carbohydrates – 10.7% of which is fiber. Most of the fat in chia seeds are omega-3 essential fatty acids – 311% RDA per ounce.

As far as minerals, one ounce of chia seeds contains about 179 mg of calcium (about 18% RDA), 38% RDA of phosphorus, 27% RDA of manganese and 9% RDA of zinc.

A much-touted benefit of chia is the “high digestibility” of its protein content. Studies have shown that ground chia seeds provide the most digestible protein content with raw and then soaked chia seeds coming in at a distant second place.

Tropical Pineapple Lime Smoothie

By Joanne Raia at www.rawjo.com

lime

 

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh spinach

1 cup 1 inch pineapple, cubed

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1 banana, sliced

2 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 -1 inch ginger root, chopped

1/2 cup ice

Instructions:

Blend in Vita Mix or high-speed blender and serve! Enjoy that tropical boost of energy!

 

Creamy Spinach Dip

From www.rawfoodbetsy.com

spinach

Even the pickiest eater will love this healthier version of the traditional spinach dip’s creamy, amazing flavor and texture.

Ingredients:

4 cups baby spinach

2 avocados

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Herbamare seasoning salt or sea salt

1-2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon ginger root

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Instructions:

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

Serve with baby carrots, julienne vegetables, crackers or on top of your mixed green salad.

Nutritional Information:

Spinach is a tender leafy green vegetable and very tasty. Spinach has large amounts of vitamin A, K, folate with moderate amounts of the minerals potassium, copper, iron and magnesium and it boosts your energy. Spinach also contains selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E.

Spinach is rich in antioxidants that may help protect against certain cancers of the stomach, skin, breast, prostate, ovaries and colon. Spinach is good for cardiovascular health and may help prevent heart attack and stroke. Anti-inflammatory properties may help with diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Spinach contains lutein, which may protect eye health. Studies suggest that eating spinach may help reduce the effects of age-related decline in brain function.

You can use it in your green smoothies, pates and in salads!

 

Sunny Carrot Pâté

From Eva Rawposa at www.uncooking101.com

carrots

 

It is so simple and light, with such inexpensive ingredients, that I am shocked every time at just how tasty and filling it is. It’s a great one to keep on hand for just about anything!

Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 8 hours, then rinsed 3/4 cup carrots Handful fresh dill 1/4 sweet onion (optional) 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or Celtic sea salt 1/2 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon olive oil Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Start with just the carrots in your food processor; add the other ingredients once the carrots are well chopped.

Store up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

Serve with mini carrots, julienne vegetables, a scoop on your salad and in a wrap!

Nutritional Information:

Sunflower seeds are high in fatty acids such as linoleic acid (50%), and mono-unsaturated oleic acid, which helps to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL. One cup of sunflower seeds contains 21 grams of protein, 35.17 grams of vitamin E, 277 grams of folic acid and 8.35 mg niacin. Sunflower seeds contain compounds such as chlorogenic acid, quinic acid and caffeic acids. They are natural antioxidants, which help reduce blood sugar by limiting glycogen breakdown in the liver.

Overcoming Obstacles When Transitioning To A Raw Food Diet

You love all of these fresh and vibrant foods and see how easy you can incorporate them into the food you are already eating. How do you continue to use these raw food ingredients and recipes moving forward and stick with it? Here are a few tips for your raw food success:

  • Keep your raw food pantry stocked
  • Stock your raw food pantry with grab and go ingredients
    • Fruit – apples, berries, cherries, bananas, mangoes, raisins
    • Nuts almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans
    • Seeds such pumpkin, sunflower, chia, flaxseeds, hemp
    • Nut butter – almond, cashew, sunflower
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut, cacao nibs
  • Create a raw food snack in 5 minutes
    • Apple slices with nut butter topped with chia, flax or hemp seeds, drizzle with raw honey, agave or coconut nectar (optional) and top with raisins.
    • Combine berries with shredded coconut and chopped or sliced almonds.
  • Double your smoothie recipe in the morning and save some of it for an afternoon energy booster.

When you plan ahead, you will find it so easy to grab and go!

Where Do I Find Raw Food Ingredients?

Most of your markets will have the fresh produce and easy to find ingredients for all of Rawjo’s recipes! One of my favorite places is at your local farmer’s market and my natural food market!

How Do Keep My Raw Food Kitchen Stocked?

When I transitioned to a raw diet, I found that if had the ingredients needed to put a recipe together in a flash, it was so simple and easy! When you are planning your meals for the next day or week, make sure you get all your ingredients. For example, be sure to grab the fresh dill you will need for the Sunny Carrot Pate.   It will make a difference in the flavor of your pate!

How Do I Find Time To Prepare Raw Food With My Busy Lifestyle?

You have a busy day tomorrow and you think there is no time to prepare just one recipe! Give your morning a little energy with my refreshing Tropical Pineapple Lime Smoothie! The night before put the ingredients in the pitcher of your high-speed blender starting with the greens then followed by the fruit. Put the lid on and store in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add ice and water and blend well. Now you have your healthy fast food to start your day with a boost of energy!

How Do I Prepare Raw Food When My Family Is Eating Differently?

Remember, these raw food recipes are to be incorporated into what you are already eating. Regardless what your meal consists of, you can easily add any of Rawjo’s recipes! A scoop of the Sunny Carrot Pate can be added to your salad or you can accompany your salad with the Spinach Dip. If you are at a picnic or party, bring out the Creamy Spinach Dip with those mini carrots and watch it disappear!

If you want more support in your nutritional lifestyle journey, sign up for my FREE ‘Not Your Average’ Green Smoothies at Rawjo.com!

joanne

rawjo.com

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jo@rawjo.com

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Comments

  1. Hi Joanne,
    Thank you so much for sharing – I recently was diagnosed with hashimoto & mthfr gene mutation so I have had to change my whole life style of eating! I will definitely will be adding you as a resource.
    Thanks again,
    Cheryl Camacho

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    Your welcome! I understand a bit about hashimoto and mthfr gene as I have this diagnosis too! I’m happy to be a resource for you!

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