Sugary snacks such as biscuits and chocolate

Who among us has not reached for that sneaky bar of chocolate for a quick energy boost when the mid afternoon slump hits.

Who can say that when energy levels dip that a sugary pick-me-up is not the snack of choice – simply because it’s there.

Or at school-pick up, have a packet of biscuits handy to reward kids for a hard day’s slog learning their ABC’s.

Well my advice to you is – think again!

Now I’m just as guilty as the next person for taking a dive into the biscuit tin and inhaling a long line of chocolate hobnobs when the going gets tough – or sometimes horsing my way though an entire block of chocolate in one sitting.

We all do it – and pig-outs are okay – it’s when it becomes part of a daily routine that you need to take a step away from the treat cupboard.

So why are we all getting so worked up about the sweet stuff?

Well, it comes as no surprise to know that if eaten in large quantities, it rots your teeth and makes you fat.

But what we are now learning is exactly how bad it is for us (about as bad as alcohol or tobacco) – and just as addictive.

And we are finally waking up to the fact that manufacturers have been sneaking it in everywhere.

It even lurks in what we might consider ‘healthy’ food choices – bran based breakfast cereal, tomato soup, baked beans.. the list continues.

So now we have an obesity crisis.

In Scotland one in three adults are now obese.

And the picture is even worse for future generations as figures show that last year there were 3,500 children who were clinically or severely obese when they started school in Primary one.

Jamie Oliver campaigned for a sugar tax

In March this year celebrity chef Jamie Oliver did his bit to try and combat our spreading waist-lines by putting pressure on the UK Government to introduce a ‘sugar tax’ to try and cut obesity rates.It is expected that the sugar tax, to come into force in two year’s time, will raise an estimated £520 million a year – with that cash spent on doubling funding for sport in primary schools.Well that’s just ‘pucka’ as Mr Oliver might say, but in the meantime, I have created some delicious but healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy – guaranteed to stave off those mid afternoon sugar cravings for both young and old.

Cacao energy bites

It’s not difficult to make sure you nibble a bit of raw food every day.

There’s no cooking or really much washing or chopping – just good old fashioned chomping.

That’s why I know that after you’ve read this post – you WILL increase the amount of raw food you eat – especially when I tell you that sinking your gnashers into a stick of carrot or nibbling on some nuts actually helps you lose weight.

Before I get to the science bit I thought I would list all the reasons why raw is good – just to really get you in the mood.

The List

Eating raw foods leads to: 
Increased energy 
Reduces cellulite 
Eliminates water retention 
Reduce ‘bad food’ cravings 
Healthy glow and sparkle 
Optimum Health 
Oh! and weight loss 

What is Raw?

Okay so this might sound a bit basic – but let’s look at what is considered ‘raw’ food.

Well anything frozen is on the list – but anything canned or pasteurized is not. Simple really.

Here is the science bit….

Raw food is fresh whole food that has not been refined, chemically processed, denatured or heated above 48 degrees C, so its nutritional content is preserved. 

The major raw food groups include: 

sprouted seeds
sea vegetables
natural fats 

When we eat foods in their natural, uncooked state we receive  all the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes that good old Mother Nature intended us to eat.

In contrast, when we cook our foods we lose around 70 per cent of these essential nutrients.

Why Raw helps with weight loss

If you increase your raw food intake, then it will naturally reduce your craving for sugary food. Hence the weight loss bit.

Also many people notice their energy levels increasing when they eat raw – this is because your body doesn’t have to use so much energy digesting it.

Raw foods are hydrating 

Eating lots of raw stuff can help with sluggishness, dry skin and false hunger that hits us when we don’t drink enough water.

Raw foods contain loads of fibre

Fibre is essential for sweeping the digestive tract of waste – which basically means ‘it keeps you regular.’

Many health problems such as gas and bloating can stem from poor digestion, but it can also cause other nasties such as irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, skin conditions such as acne and even colon cancer.

Raw foods contain phytonutrients

So what the hell are phytonutrients?

These are plant chemical compounds that act as anti-oxidants, immune boosters and hormone stabilizers and have huge health benefits, such as detoxifying the liver, preventing heart disease and cancer, and protecting our eyes from macular degeneration – so pretty important really.

A phytonutrient called Lycopene is found in red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelons, red bell peppers and papayas and has very powerful antioxidant properties.

Research suggests it is also effective in preventing cancers, especially prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

How Raw should you go?

Well you don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy the benefits of raw food.

The starting point is that any amount of raw food is beneficial.

But if you want to give your body that healthy kick start, aim for five portions of veg and three fruit a day.

A don’t forget to include essential fats in your diet – maybe a handful of nuts or some oily fish such as salmon.

Raw food tips and ideas

If you add a smoothie and a bowl of muesli with fruit and yoghurt to your breakfast menu and a salad with lunch and dinner – you’re already there.

There is also Raw Chocolate to nibble on – who knew – healthy chocolate!

For more healthy recipes have a look at my previous post – where I tell you how to make Ginger Energy Bites and Chia Pudding

If you want any advice or a tailor-made diet plan you can email me, Nutritious Lolly at