Every time I write an article or present a seminar about the raw food diet I can’t help note how we have evolved so far away from nature that we now need to take courses about eating food in its natural form. Quite astonishing when you think about it.
[box type="note"]DEFINING RAW (also called “sun food” and “naked food”): food that is not heated above 118°F (46°C) in order to maintain nutritional integrity.[/box]
Raw Foodism is getting a whole lot of press lately and it is coming across as the newest fad diet yet there isn’t one person alive, dead, or in some world in between who can deny that raw was the first diet to ever exist and has been present all these millions of years. Isn’t it striking that most people in the developed world now need cookbooks to eat raw food? Welcome to the new millennium.
The majority of interest is coming from the miraculous health benefits and although science backs it up, common sense can tell us why many benefits come with eating naked food:
1) What you are NOT eating when eating raw: toxins, carcinogens, chemicals
2) Our bodies are made up of living organisms, trillions of cells that need to renew themselves constantly; raw food is full of live cells and enzymes and helps the body in this natural process
I list the fact that we are avoiding toxins first because this is what is presently causing most of the health disasters we are facing. The human body was never designed to fight thousands of chemical substances disguised as food. Somehow we have managed to become desensitized to the fact that we are eating poison – don’t we all joke about how we can’t pronounce most of the ingredients in processed foods? Stop and think about that for a second: we are eating some of the same ingredients they use to bleach outdoor sailing tarp, chemicals used by military in deforestation tactics during wars, and even ingredients used in making nuclear bombs – all of the above can be found in a serving of milk and cookies! No wonder Santa doesn’t fit in the chimney anymore.
We are physically designed to create antibodies against the odd bacteria here and there, maybe, possibly, sometimes, and rarely counter the cortisol that is released when we are stressed…do “maybe”, “rarely”, and “sometimes” describe the frequency with which you are stressed?
Our bodies are fighting a very difficult battle they weren’t meant to fight on a daily basis and they are doing it with not only no ammunition, but blindfolded and with arms tied so to speak, all the while our cells are literally under attack by chemical warfare. I’m always amazed that there are only 200 million people clinically diseased in North America. Our bodies are so brilliant and amazing that we are not extinct yet…but clearly on our way.
[box type="important"]It is important to note that technically meats and fish in raw form can be considered raw food, however for the health benefits we are discussing here, only plant based foods are considered healthy.[/box]
So let’s debunk the two major myths that raw food is boring and that there are nutrients like protein lacking from this diet. If you have been eating cooked food your whole life, wouldn’t it stand to reason that same old same old cooked food is now boring and exploring a whole new method of food preparation would open interesting doors?
There are literally thousands of recipes within raw cuisine – how many thousand recipes in cooked food do you incorporate in your diet on a yearly basis? How many new recipes and exotic ingredients did you try in the past week?
As for the question of nutrients, everything your body needs is built into raw foods by Mother Nature and no one should be surprised by this. Protein in broccoli, calcium in kale, omega-3’s in walnuts…and this list goes on and on…it’s just a question of re-educating ourselves about nutrition.
Going raw requires several steps, and Victoria Boutenko has an interesting book titled “12 Steps to Raw Foods”, but to keep this blog entry reasonably short, let me summarize to 3 steps. The second step in going raw is to know where to find essential nutrients (from a health standpoint all nutrients are essential, but in medical terms, “essential” refers to nutrients your body cannot create on its own and must be eaten through food).
That’s the second step. The first step? …knowing how much of what nutrients your body really needs and this should be done regardless of a person’s diet being cooked or raw. Most of us do not know what we need and in turn consume too much of what we know to be important, like protein, when in fact excess protein is the root of many evils. The third and easiest step is finding new recipes; there are countless recipes online and even more in your bookstore.
A little research is in order to transform your diet for the better and whether you do it through reading on your own, taking a course, or consulting with a nutritionist, ask yourself if there is anything more worthy of your time than your optimum health. You certainly don’t want to be asking yourself that question when it is too late, as MS and Alzheimer’s patients will tell you.
Eating living foods feeds and nurtures the living parts of your body and brain; eating food that has undergone death via slaughter, irradiation, genetic modification, or excess heat…quite simply you are feeding your body death and accelerating the process.
[box type="important"]My turn to ask a question: what is your plan B if you drive your body to failure?[/box]