Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 9, Going Raw In SIMPLE Terms (an easy intro for beginners)

My friend Marie-Francoise posted the following comment: 

hi llse! i've been reading your blog - very cool! i've been wanting to go raw - not 100% - but at least eat raw more often than not. the only trouble is that i can't find a simple, easy way to start. all the websites I've looked at are too complicated. i need one written for someone in kindergarten. yes, something even a 5 year old could understand. like a short list of some kind - the raw websites are waaayy too intimidating. any suggestions?

So, here are my two cents (however, I am NOT a physician and this is not meant as medical advice, always consult a doctor and don't sue me):

1. Eating all or most of your food raw greatly increases your energy and health, will give your mind more clarity and will eliminate most hormonal imbalances that cause mood swings. Your body absorbs the nutrients in the food much better so you eat less and have no cravings (you may have to do a colon cleanse to get the full advantage of it, depending on how contaminated the lining of your colon has become over the years).

2. You are on a textbook raw diet if you eat only raw foods and you do not heat anything above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C). Also you should not eat anything that has been previously heated while being processed (sugar being a big one, soy sauce, honey (which needs to be cooked to make it runny), beer, spirits, etc). A lot of raw foodies are also vegetarians or vegans.

3. A lot of people eat a partial raw diet, many consider themselves "Raw Foodies" even though they eat 75% raw. Increasing your intake of raw food even a little bit will help your body, but if you are having energy/weight/health issues going completely raw will start making a BIG difference withing a couple of days. Some people go raw to detox. If that is your goal then juicing your food is an even better option. 

4. Going raw is easy, there is no prep needed, you might have trouble giving up other stuff cold turkey, that's another story, but you don't need to do anything to prepare your body to receive lots of raw food.

5. You may need/want to take some supplements when going raw, depending on how diligent you are about making sure your food is varied enough to supply all your nutritional needs (protein, calcium, vitamins, iron and other minerals, etc.).

6. Raw foods have so much water you will find yourself getting thirsty less often, but if you are "thirsty" for a drink you can have wine (wine is fermented, not distilled like liquors, so it IS allowed!)

7. When eating raw you can still eat some grains that are beneficial by soaking them ("sprouting" them) so that they become soft enough to chew and digest. You can eat raw nuts and it is recommended that you soak them so that they can be digested more easily.

8. You can create your own variation on the strict raw diet, I, for example, allow myself some dairy products in moderation (yogurt and some cheeses), my husband allows himself green tea, and we both eat raw fish.

9. What are the advantages of eating raw? For this I am going to quote Esme Stevens from the site "The Best of Raw Food" because she does such a great job explaining what happens when you cook food:

        Why eat raw food?

         "Why is the benefit of eating food raw?" is another question I'm asked a lot (sic).The most
         important reasons are to me that heating your food above 115 degrees F (45 Celsius):
  • Kills enzymes. Enzymes help you digest your food. Your body can create enzymes but that process takes a lot of energy. This process makes you feel tired and heavy after a cooked food meal. Further, the enzymes your body makes are not as efficient and effective as the ones that were destroyed in your food.
    Consequently, your food is not be broken down as well and thus harder to digest. This also results in food starts rotting in your intestines, that parasites have more chance to survive
    It is further believed that your body has a limited amount of enzymes that it can produce. If the supply is finished, body organs will function less and less. It will accelerate aging.
  • Changes the pH of the food and makes food acidic. We like to eat alkaline foods. Eating acidifying food makes your body a welcome feeding ground for disease.
  • Converts easy to absorb minerals into inorganic - hard to absorb - minerals. INorganic minerals such as calcium are hard to absorb and might cause calcium stones, whereas organic ones are easier to digest, make you alkaline, help you get rid of too many acids
  • Destroys most vitamins
  • Destroys the life force. Eating cooked food is eating dead food. This will make you feel heavy and tired. Live food has live energy. It will give you energy. Simply put. A raw seed will grow, a cooked seed won't. When you pick (raw) unripe fruit it continues to ripen for weeks. Cooked fruit starts to decay within days.
        These reasons are enough to explain why most people on a raw food diet feel more energetic and
        have a stronger immune system.

 See what I mean?
And, finally, if you are still wondering "so, what? I eat celery all day?), here is a...

10. Sample One Day Menu

Breakfast: Morning Smoothie (strawberry/banana flavor, my recipe includes yogurt, you can substitute with orange juice) and/or
Buckwheat GRAWnola with almond milk,
and/or Simple Fruit Salad (you can omit the yogurt).

Lunch: Salad with greens, tomato, carrot, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts and your choice of raw nuts, sprinkle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Avocado slices with lime juice and chili powder or cayenne pepper, or Loren's Guacamole.

Snack: Vegetable/tomato juice and raw Brazil nuts sprinkled with lime juice and salt, or
Fruit juice and raw nuts, or
Dried or fresh fruit, or
Flax crackers (recipe coming soon) with almond cheese

Dinner: Ceviche with flax crackers, Raw Garbanzo Hummus (recipe coming soon), and a salad of your choice.

Dessert (if you have a sweet tooth, but I guarantee after 2-4 days of being off processed sugars you will not have one any more):
Dried blueberries in yogurt or
Chopped walnuts with raw honey or agave nectar.

I hope this helps to get you started, you will feel great!

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