Charis (Ka-reese) from At the Gate called Beautiful. Charis is a 32 year old mom to 4 (soon to be 5) boys and wife of 10 years to her best friend Bill. They are a full-time intercessory missionary family giving themselves to oversee The Watch House of Prayer in Redding, Ca. She is involved in raising up godly children, pastoring, leading worship, and encouraging people in growing in a life of prayer and pursuit of loving God as the “One Thing” (Psalm 27).
I have found that learning to eat healthy is something that comes in baby steps. I couldn’t imagine completely changing the way my family eats overnight, nor would I expect you to either! I believe that we learn and then we make small changes in our lifestyle that are sustainable. Fad diets are not sustainable. However, small changes to your lifestyle and perspective on food will last the long haul.
So today I want to encourage everyone to take the baby step of working in more raw fruits and vegetables into your eating and meal planning. Eating fruits and veggies in their natural state allows our bodies to gain so much of their nutrients and some believe that cooking them above a temperature of 118 degrees destroys their living enzymes that are so important for our bodies. While I am not advocating an extreme raw food diet, I do believe that most of us could benefit from increasing the amount of raw produce we consume.
If you came over to visit our home for dinner a couples times, chances are you would be served a main course salad at some point. We have 4 kids, 8 and under, and they all eat salad (even the 18 month old)! For our family, it has never been an option to not eat our greens so it is all that our kids know! Salad doesn’t have to be a boring side dish of plain greens with a white dressing on top… oh no, it can be so much more! We do salads all different ways, throwing what we have in the fridge and pantry in, and it is always exciting and different. One of the best ways to make your salad really pop is to make your own homemade dressing – something I will talk about more below.
We try to eat as seasonally as possible for health, taste, and money reasons, so the salad I am going to share with you is made with what is available in season right now! It is an easy recipe for one of our favorite main course salads – Asian Chicken Salad. It is fast and easy to put together for a healthy meal that everyone will love. We never have leftovers when I make this salad and my boys – 8 and under – have even requested this as food at their birthday parties. It is just that good.
Since our star ingredient is cabbage, I would like to list some of the health benefits you get from eating more cabbage:
- Rich in vitamin C, iodine, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium
- Aids in treatment of constipation, headaches, excess weight, heart diseases, arthritis, eczema, among other ailments!
- Ranks up with broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts with the reputation of fighting cancer
- Rich in fiber
- ½ cup chopped only has 16 calories!
Disclaimer: The way I cook isn’t precise – I instead like to put amounts of ingredients in my cooking according to the tastes and preferences of my family. So… all amounts are just a suggestion and please adjust the flavors to your own liking. I don’t even use spoons or cups to measure when I cook – I usually just shake and pour and taste as I go.
In what ways do you try to incorporate more raw fruits and vegetables into your lifestyle? What are your favorite types of salads?