Raw Thoughts about the Raw Food Diet

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.

Health benefits of the Raw Food Diet:

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?

Raw Food Diet Thoughts:

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.

How to adjust to the Raw Food Diet?

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.

Why try the Raw Food Diet?

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.

Questions about the Raw Food Diet:

  1. Does transitioning to any new diet require an initial investment of time? YES.
  2. Does eating raw mean more prep time is needed for food? YES.
  3. Does raw mean foregoing the convenience of boxed shelf food? YES.
  4. Does raw mean giving up drive thru food? YES…till some food chain gets smart…

[box type=”important”]My turn to ask a question: what is your plan B if you drive your body to failure?[/box]

Jaqui Karr

Gluten and Nutrition Expert, Bestselling Author, Jaqui Karr is the authority on gluten - Visit Jaqui's website now for information about how gluten is destroying your health JaquiKarr.com

8 thoughts on “Raw Thoughts about the Raw Food Diet

  • January 2, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Love it love it! I transitioned to raw a year ago and it has changed my life completely. Thanks for continuing to spread the info. Great work :D

  • December 21, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I am experiencing a raw food lifestyle and learning more each day! So far I have lost 25 lbs, kept it off and been able to get off my diabetes medicine!

    I appreciate your site and wish you the best of luck. Keep spreading the good word!

  • October 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    You wrote:

    ” What you are NOT eating when eating raw: toxins, carcinogens, chemicals”

    Shouldn’t this also read “… but only if you eat certified organic plant foods”?

    To suggest that people can be free of toxins and carcinogens by consuming heaps of plant foods is misleading. Non-organinc fruits/vegetables are heavily laced with health-damaging fungicides, neurotoxins, carcinogens.

    Vegans, vegetarians and raw foodists are consuming far more of these foods & chemicals than the ordinary population, if they not buying and eating organically-produced food.

    Furthermore walnuts may be quite rich in Omega-3s but they are simply not bioavailable to our bodies. At best, barely so. The same with omega-3 rich flaxseed. Please check out the science before misinforming people.

    As for protein in the raw food diet. it has been scientifially assessed that the human body does best on about 9g protein per 1 kg of body weight per day. True, most Americans eat more than this and it is detrimental to health, but raw fooders struggle to get anywhere approaching this amount in their daily diet.

    And where do raw foodists get adequate amounts of these essentials: B12; Iodine & Selenium (especially if they live in areas where these minerals are deficient or missing in the soil); sufficient Calcium to support healthy bones and teeth through a lifetime. How much Kale can you chomp through in a day? How much of that calcium can your body actually absorb. And Kale is full of Goitrogens which without iodine supplementation will eventually cause thyroid dysfunction.

    These are just a few of the nutritional problems involved.

    While the theory is inspiring, and while folk may for a time feel a little better and more energised on a raw diet, please folks do your own research. Look at the studies and the scientific research before accepting that you can be fully nourished on a raw foods diet, without also taking supplementary nutrients in pill form.

  • October 27, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Its not easy incorporating a raw diet into our busy lives, but the health benefits pay off in spades.

    So many nutrients and health properties are lost in foods and replaced by salt, sugar and fats. Its no wonder cardiovascular disease is the western worlds number 1 cause of death.

    • October 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      thank you for all your comments…definitely not easy to manage a raw diet in a busy schedule (funny, I mention that in several places on my site) – but it certainly is a good idea do 30-day all raw detoxes once in a while if you are battling health issues as serious as diabetes or as obscure as “I just don’t feel well/energetic lately”. We take vacations from work so our mind/emotions can rest, it’s important to give our body a break sometimes too :) stay healthy everyone

  • October 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I lost 100 pounds years and years (and years) ago.

    When people ask me what I eat my advice has been to eat “close to the ground” – and you can’t get closer to the ground than when eating a plant-based diet in its raw form.

    My diet certainly does not adhere completely to the raw format – however concentrating on eating close to ground most of the time has allowed me to maintain a healthy weight AFTER losing a lot of weight.

    That fact alone supports the efficacy of the approach.

    It is great for people to have a resource such as your blog to educate themselves about eating raw.


  • October 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    What a great article! This is it, I am going to do what I need to do to eat better. PLEASE keep writing articles! Can we get this author to do a weekly thing to help someone starting from scratch? I love when a writer can give us common sense and simple information that just “clicks” :)


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