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I recently attended a talk and cooking demonstration given by Diana Stobo, local author of “Get Naked Fast.” The little morsels that got passed around at the event were delicious and seemingly simple to make. I bought her book on the spot, and started cooking from it the very next day.

Because I believe in balance, and because I have heard too many theories suggesting an entirely raw food diet can be unhealthy, I have never considered going completely raw. That said, incorporating a raw food approach into your existing diet can only be good for you as far as I’m concerned. Not only is your body free from foods that are difficult to digest and potentially aggravating (e.g., animal protein, processed wheat, etc.), but you are virtually always guaranteed your body will receive all the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables and then some as well as an incredible range of nutrients.

In case you’ve never read up on it, a purely raw food diet typically consists of fruits and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, seaweed, nuts, beans and some grains. Food is eaten raw (i.e., uncooked, hence no animal or animal by-products, such as diary). It is believed that heating food above 116 degrees destroys a food’s “lifeforce” and the beneficial enzymes which aid the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Diana doesn’t advocate going completely raw, which is what I like so much about her book. For example, she cooks her quinoa (which might later be cooked in a pancake), and her lentils. She appears to be much more about lightening the load on your digestion and your body as a whole.

The six or so recipes I have tried from Diana’s book are really tasty. Even my meat-eating, meat-loving husband agrees! And what I especially like about a more raw food diet is that in addition to feeling lighter, it actually curbs my cravings for naughty things, such as cheese, cookies and pies. It actually makes me–dare I say it–dread putting something in my mouth that I know will take hours and hours to digest.

I’m striving for a 30-50 percent raw food diet. Since I haven’t eaten mammals for the past two decades, scaling back on fish and fowl is easy. My biggest hurdle is baking less.

In case you’re looking to drop a few pounds before summer is fully upon us, you might consider modifying your diet slightly toward raw food. Because of its balanced approach, I highly recommend Diana’s book as a great introduction to raw. To order, go to http://www.dianastobo.com/.

(Note: My favorite recipes from Diana’s book are Portobello Mushroom Fajitas and Spicy Lentil Tostadas.)

Happy and healthy eating!

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