During the 60’s and 70’s there were many people who changed their way of life to a more natural way of doing, including their eating habits. That was never entirely lost by some, but went out of vogue for the most part when ‘convenience foods’ made their way onto the scene. Everyone’s lives became busier, a lot of mom’s went to work just like the dad’s and people didn’t have much time to plan and prepare traditional meals for the family anymore. Over time, snacks became processed and packaged rather than a simple apple or carrot sticks. Nowadays, people have begun to notice that we’re not as healthy as we once were. Many people are over-weight or obese, and disease is the norm. Slowly, we’ve come to realize that what we eat most certainly has an effect on all of that and one of the ways we’re making our way back to health is the raw food diet.
Why switch from cooked foods to raw foods? The answer is simple; a diet has to be full of a particular food “that nourishes or fuels the body with life-giving force (i.e. enzymes, electric or vital energy, chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, etc.), thereby strengthening, energizing and building it, without depleting or causing any hindrance to its functions”.
So what is the main difference between raw foods and cooked foods? Enzymes. Among many important factors, the most significant is the enzymes ability to aid the body in the digestive process. These enzymes break down the food in order for it to be absorbed into our blood stream. There are billions of cells in the human body, each doing a particular task. These cells are left completely depleted after the task is complete and need to be replenished.
Raw foods are full of living enzymes that replace those exhausted cells. These enzymes are slowed down at temperatures near 118 degrees F and are completely destroyed at approximately 130 degrees F. Vitamins, minerals, proteins, basically everything required for a healthy life are destroyed at temperatures that “cooked” foods are heated up to. Raw Foodists believe: Live food, live body, dead food, dead body.
Raw food is very cleansing, healing and refreshing to the body, and is especially good for people who have eaten a lot of meat and processed food. Eating raw food may improve digestion and increase vitality. Going on a raw food diet can feel like fasting, as it helps remove toxins quickly and effectively from the body and can lead to weight loss. One of the biggest benefits of going on a raw food diet is that it gets people off sugary, processed junk foods. However, this diet can be too cleansing for people whose systems are weak and need building. Also, people with a sensitive digestive track may find the nutrients in raw food too intense, at least at first.
A drawback is getting adequate protein can be a challenge while following a raw food diet. Some raw foodists only eat raw, while others eat some cooked food. If beginning a raw food lifestyle, it is best to incorporate raw foods a little at a time until you achieve the level you want.
Sample Daily Menu
Breakfast: fruit smoothie with soaked flax seeds, banana, fresh fruit and dates
Lunch: almond avocado stew with apple cider vinegar and sunflower sprouts
Dinner: green curry pasta: zucchini and mango slices topped with a Thai nut curry cream and coconut noodles
Snacks: carrots served with raw hummus made from sprouted garbanzo beans and fresh garlic