Changing the world one green smoothie at a time
[An expert conversation featured in the Summer/Fall 2012 issue of Green & Healthy Maine]
We caught up with Elizabeth Fraser, a raw foods educator and enthusiast and owner of Girl Gone Raw in Portland, to learn a little more about the benefits of raw foods—and how someone new to the raw food scene might get started.
What exactly is meant by raw foods?
The raw vegan lifestyle includes eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains, and nothing heated over 118 degrees. By not heating food over that temperature all of the enzymes in the food remain intact. Enzymes are thought of as life force and when we consume them in their natural state we in turn feel vibrant and alive.
What do you tell people who are just getting started with raw foods?
My advice for a newbie is to drink one quart of green smoothie a day and reap the benefits. Naturally your awareness around what you put in your body will shift and you will feel the desire to make healthier choices all around. From there you can enjoy fresh fruit, veggies and nuts as snacks and side salads with lunch and dinner. Take baby steps to incorporating more raw food into your world.
What exactly is a Green Smoothie?
A green smoothie is a blended mix of greens, fruit and water. A great green smoothie making ratio is to blend 3 to 4 cups of greens, 3 cups of fruit and 1.5 to 2 cups of water.
Why might someone want to put greens in their smoothie and does it actually taste good?
Green smoothies taste AMAZING and I can’t let a day go by without drinking at least one huge glass! Greens are the rawk stars of the raw food world because they are so nutrient dense! They are loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals and they also contain phytonutrients like beta-carotene and lutein. Greens are also a great source of protein, offering more protein per calorie than beef. They out flush out toxins, keep our blood clean, our immune systems working and strong, and our pH levels in the body balanced.
What types of greens do you use?
We keep 3 to 4 kinds of greens in our fridge at a time. A few of them include kale, chard, spinach, dandelion greens, collard greens, bok choy, arugula, and various types of lettuce.
Tell us a little bit about your book project.
I am working on Kids Gone RAW: live. life. uncooked. with my writer friend Maggie Knowles. We recognize the importance of setting kids up for a healthy life by teaching them how to be healthy eaters. With obesity in children at an all-time high, we as a nation need to make a shift and inspire our youth to live their most healthy and vibrant life through what they eat. Kids Gone RAW is an un-cookbook for kids, and it is filled with kid favorite snacks and meals.