What is a Raw Food Diet?

My family and I are currently eating a mostly raw food diet. Many people have asked for more information, so I tried to answer a few common questions. If you want more information, or if you want to check out some of my sources of information, please let me know. Also, as you read thorough any of my post, please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and I have no medical training at all. What I write about is based on my personal research and my personal experiences.

What is a raw food diet?

Food is considered raw if it is not heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw foods includes fresh salads and fruits and veggies, but also dehydrated crackers and breads, and even soups, Not everything has to be cold, and as fall is just around the corner,  I’m looking forward to experimenting with many soup recipes. I’ll heat them slightly by blending them in my high speed blender on a high setting until the soup is warm but not hot. At 115 degrees, it’s still above body temp and still feels warm.

What the is importance of eating raw?

Cooking destroys many vitamins and minerals in foods. In addition, heating foods to temperatures used for most cooking destroys enzymes. We need enzymes for many of our body’s functions, but in today’s world we seem to be most familiar with digestive enzymes. If we eat food raw with their natural enzymes intact we don’t need to steal enzymes from our bodies just to digest our food. As since we stop making enzymes at around 30, it’s important to get as many enzymes in out food as we can. Sometimes using, digestive enzymes in a capsule from may be helpful for those needing to initially heal gut function as many raw foods can be hard to eat with a gut that is not working right, but my purpose to learn how to rely only on foods for all of my nutritional needs.

Who should eat raw food?

Anyone who wants to benefit from maximum nutritional value from foods should consider eating raw. That said, be gentle on your body. Depending on what you have been used to eating, you may not be able to have many raw meals to start with; you may need to ease into it as your digestive system heals. Also, a raw food diet is typically a lifestyle choice, not a temporary fad. You will likely loose or gain weight on a raw food diet depending on what you body needs to do to reach a healthy, stable weight. But if you loose weight on a raw food diet and then go back to cooked foods, you will likely gain quickly since your body will be used to highly nutritious but lower calorie foods. Not to mention, cravings may return if you stray too far from raw foods.

What do you eat on a raw food diet?

There are plenty of raw junk foods available, but my personal goal is top nutrition. So, I should be aiming for sprouts and greens to make up the greatest part of my diet. According to Victoria Boutenko (author of Green for Life and the creator of the green smoothie) we should have at least 2 lbs of greens per day. That’s a lot. But if I put 1-2 large handfuls in my morning smoothie, and have green juice for snack, and have salad once or twice a day, then eating 2 lbs of greens a day is pretty easy. And don’t forget sprouts as they are nutritional powerhouses. My family eats sprouts at least 1-2 times a day. So if half or more of my diet is greens and sprouts then the rest is veggies, fruits, and nuts and seeds. Veggies hold greater weight than fruit and nuts and seeds should be minimal. In addition, expect to eat more than what you might with a cooked meal to get the calories you need, but after a while expect to not need as many calories since you will be very satisfied with a little highly nutritious foods.

What about protein, calcium, iron, etc.?

This is always a big concern for people going vegan or raw vegan. If you are eating primarily greens, sprouts, and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) and if you are eating enough food, you will get your protein, iron, and calcium needs met. I also sometimes use a raw protein powered in my breakfast smoothies. If you have concerns about meeting nutritional needs, especially in the transitional phase, consider having a doctor or naturopath monitor your blood to see you are getting what you need. Often, we need to heal the gut before we can absorb nutrients

How does the body change on a raw food diet?

You can expect all the traditional detox symptoms, and they can be very rough depending on how quickly you transition. If you cut all cooked foods immediately in can be life saving, but also brutal. Going raw also means cutting coffee, sugar, dairy, meat, and eggs. If you are concerned about detox symptoms, try transitioning a little at a time. Start with a green smoothie every day. Then replace one meal a day with a raw meal. Once you get passed detox symptoms, you can expect more energy, better sleep, hormones to balance, and even allergies and diseases to heal. You can also expect your tastes and cravings to change. The more you eat good, raw food, the more you experience the flavors of real food…it doesn’t come close to the flavors of cooked food. Fresh herbs are SO good!!

Is eating a raw food diet expensive?

It depends  on what you value. We often think nothing of pay $25 for steaks, but we think an organic watermelon is spendy. If you stop buying meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods and stop going to restaurants, how much will you save? If you don’t have to go to the doctor as often, how much will you save? How much would you pay for health? Or natural energy? Or good sleep? How we spend our money determines what we value. I rarely buy clothes or shoes and I often get clothes second hand. I get my hair cut once or twice a year. I rarely pay to get my nails done. And we buy almost everything off Craigslist. We also buy used cars outright, so we don’t have car payments. I have no intentions of telling anyone how to live their life or how to spend their money, but personally, I prefer to put my money into fresh organic foods.

Does it take time to plan and prepare?

Yes. I won’t lie, it is easier to go out to eat or toss something in the crockpot. But I’ve lost my health and regained it; now I’m determined to never loose it again. And I experienced natural energy, and I want to keep it. In addition, I want my kids to know what real health is without relying on pharmaceuticals. And once we get into new routines, it’s not as challenging. Also, I don’t have to scrub greasy pots and pans from cooking, and the energy I gain from eating raw is more than the energy I lose from having to prepare raw meals. I can’t get a pizza at the end of a long day, and I have to plan and shop every 3-5 days, but I’m more alert, more energetic, and much more healthy.

Our world is changing. By 2030, half of all boys born will be autistic. And by 2040, deaths from drug-resistant bacteria will far supersede cancer! Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, allergies, eczema, asthma, and other “unexplained” health concerns are rapidly increasing. We NEED to take charge of our own health and that of our kids.

 

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