Friday, May 16, 2014

REVIEW: Eat Raw, Not Cooked by Stacy Stowers


Can spinach really taste like chocolate ice cream? YES!

Just try Stacy Stowers’s Happy Shake—cupfuls of nourishing greens, plus a dash of raw cacao, a big handful of blueberries, and a few other delicious fixings that you can blend up every morning and enjoy with a spoon!

Stacy travels the country teaching families like yours how to add more whole, raw, unprocessed foods into their diets in the simplest, most satisfying way possible. Her clients soon discover they stop eating out of bags, bottles, cans, and boxes—and start feeling healthier, lighter, and more energetic. Eating raw is easier and tastier than you think. The gift of Stacy’s approach is that it’s not about becoming a “raw foodist” or joining some food religion; it’s about adding foods that will make you thrive.

What are the potential benefits of eating raw? Weight loss and management, more energy, relief from chronic pain and allergies, better moods, and a younger appearance—to name just a few! From Stacy’s comforting and crispy Cheatos and enticing Rainbow Fajitas, to her rich, delectable Chocolate Macaroon Fudge Bars, her more than 70 recipes will give you and your family an irresistible nutritional boost. 

Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Gallery Books
ISBN  1476752079 (ISBN13: 9781476752075)

My Thoughts

I became a pescatarian about four years ago, and since then I've been inching forward toward healthier eating. I'm not always that good at it. Sometimes dinner will be some greasy chips, or a pint of ice cream. But other times I'll eat something like an uber-healthy meal of a raw marinara made with tomatoes and red peppers, served over steamed spaghetti squash. My life is a measure of two steps forward-one step back.

So when I saw this cookbook available on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to give it a little looksy. And am I glad that I did! The book is chock-full of great ideas for eating raw foods. Why eat raw? Well, what could be healthier? When you are eating food raw, you are eating it whole, with its fiber intact and without the nutrients cooked out of it. Not cooking it also means saving calories that may be added when cooking in oil or butter. That's healthier eating all around!

The author came to healthy eating at 39 years of age after finding herself plagued with health issues, which started with a valley fever infection at the age of 22. 

In 2013, New York Times described valley fever (coccidioidomycosis) as a "disease without a cure." After just ten days of eating my food raw and unprocessed, I started feeling better! My head was no longer foggy and the pain in my body: gone. I immediately went to work learning everything I could about raw food.

The book stresses eating alkaline, as when our bodies enter an acidic state, we feel lethargic, bloated, dehydrated, and some suffer from chronic pain. The author has since converted her family to her diet by showing them how good the food can be!

One thing I was surprised to see was the use of the dehydrator in raw food preparation. It seems it gives it more of a "cooked" feel, when removing some of the water from the vegetables. The pictures of these dishes made in the dehydrator looked and sounded so good, I was inspired to buy a dehydrator (although I haven't had time to try it out yet). Dishes like the Rainbow Fajitas and China Bowl. 

I tried the Spring Rolls, which are raw julienned vegetables in rice paper wrappers, with a simple soy marinade for dipping. They were rather tasty! And I selected from the wealth of desserts available and chose one that I've heard about for years and always wanted to try, which is a chocolate pudding made from avocado. The book has a recipe for Vermont Joe's Chocolate Moose, and it was quite tasty, too! It's mainly just avocado, cocoa powder, a little agave or honey, and vanilla.

This morning I tried a variation adapted from the recipe for the Happy Shake. My variation was a couple cups of spinach and water blended to a puree, then a frozen banana, a cup or so of frozen blueberries, and a handful or two of frozen cherries thrown in with 2-3 tablespoons of unsweetened Special Dark cocoa powder, and a drizzle of agave nectar.
Yum! It was like a thick, creamy, rich shake made from chocolate-cherry ice cream. And so good for me, too! 

My final word: Looking to eat healthier? Cut calories? Eat whole foods? Check out this book and the benefits of eating raw. You won't regret it!

My Rating: B+

I received a copy of this book to review through Netgalley and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.

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