Raw Food refers to a plant-food diet, which consists of mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in the form of raw. Nothing is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and none of the ingredients are being chemically processed, pasteurized, homogenized or genetically modified. Instead we use creative methods to keep the enzymes intact, such as soaking, sprouting, marinating, blending, and dehydrating at low temperatures. Raw food also generally refers to a vegan diet, which means no animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and fish.
Enzymes: Only in raw, organic, and unprocessed foods we find enzymes, which are what I call “Our Body’s Little Workers”. They are the ones in charge of performing the work; utilizing vitamins, minerals and protein, as well as repairing and maintaining health and life. Enzymes in raw food carry the “life force”, which is transferred to the body, enhancing vitality and longevity.
Side Effects From Cooked Food: Science now proves that cooking not only destroys nutrition and enzymes but also chemically changes foods from the substances needed for health into acid-forming toxins and free-radicals. If we over consume cooked foods, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food leads to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain. Now don’t get freaked out about all this, just make it a goal to eat mostly raw, and when cooking your food, try avoiding roasting, frying, broiling, and definitely stay away from microwaves. I personally eat about 80% raw and 20% cooked food on average. I also cook my food at a low heat and steam my vegetables.
Challenges: Good chances you’ll find it challenging to eat clean all the time at first. Cooked food and animal products are definitely addicting, which means it will most likely take some time for your body to re-adjust and really know what it actually needs. Don’t get hard on yourself, just try again the next day and eventually it will get easier to go longer periods of time on a clean diet.
What about protein?? First and foremost, meat eaters consume too much protein, which unable their metabolism to digest properly which ends up creating an over-acidic system due to the accumulation of toxic wastes. According to some nutrition experts; overeating protein contributes to the development of many of our most common and serious diseases, such as arthritis, kidney damage, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and cancer. The truth is, there are more than sufficient amounts of protein found in vegetables, (especially leafy greens), nuts, seeds and legumes. As long as we consume them in large quantities we easily meet our protein requirement.
Athletes: One of the reasons many athletes need more protein is simply because they don’t eat enough calories. During their training they may run out or low on carbs, and that’s when the body will burn more protein for energy. The solution for athletes is to simply increase their amount of healthy carbs in order for their body to store more energy. Plus, considering there’s also protein in healthy carbs, they are guaranteed to avoid running out of protein. I am an athlete myself and have experienced “running out of energy”; the solution is to eat LOTS of healthy calories! Also one of the greatest benefit from eating a raw vegan diet as an athlete is the quick recovery, which is key.
Calcium: Did you know the nature’s #1 source of calcium is found in greens and leafy vegetables? It’s another reason leafy greens such as kale, chard and spinach are essential to a vegan diet. An easy way to consume lots of it is in green smoothies. Other raw sources of calcium can also be found in sesame seeds, tahini, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, seaweed, figs, mung beans and macadamia nuts.
BENEFITS OF RAW FOODS
Digestion: Digestion is one of the most important processes for maintaining optimal health. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it takes for cooked food, which also means that our bodies are able to absorb vitamins and nutrients better. Considering that raw food contains it’s own enzymes also makes digestion a lot smoother.
Elimination: Our bodies are designed to be mostly alkaline. By eating a raw food diet, we are optimizing our health by alkalizing our body. This way our elimination system can get rid of toxins. When we eat more cooked food we are consuming acidic toxins faster than our body can eliminate them so they back up. Also by eating a raw food diet, we end up consuming at least double amount of fibers from all the fresh fruits, vegetables and seeds.
Weight Lost: Excess weight is most likely related to our digestion and elimination system. By eating raw living foods, our enzymes are taking care of digestion, fat distribution and fat burning for energy. Otherwise fat stagnates and accumulates. Another cause of excess weight and obesity is the lack of minerals in the food. The body gets confused and keeps asking for those minerals and nutrients which results in a signal of hunger, so people keep eating and eating while having a poor digestion system. Ultimately, what the body’s really looking for is all the minerals and nutrients that it really needs. Enzymes are crucial in keeping a healthy balance.
Healing: I believe eating a raw plant-food diet can be the answer to most diseases in the world today. It has been studied and proved by doctors and scientists that many common diseases can be reverted solely with diet. We already have a cure for diseases which is our own immune system; our body was intelligently designed to heal itself and fight against bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and any foreign substances. In order to do so, we have to support it with the right minerals and nutrients. I strongly recommend reading “The China Study” by Dr. Collin Campbell to get a clear understanding.
Beauty: By consuming colorful and vibrant food, we start feeling and looking youthful and alive; our energy goes up, we become more positive, we get that beautiful glowing skin, sharpening of the eyes and mind, our bodies basically finds it’s “natural form”, and our life becomes more meaningful which results of being more happy.
Love: Always keep in mind that the most important thing about food is Love. It all starts with the soils. If the farmers are fully connected with the Earth and love what they’re doing, they will send authentic food off to people. And by preparing our own food while meditating and being present with it, we are indeed nurturing ourselves through that food. It’s all about the energy being transferred through the food that we eat. So think about the energy that goes into all the animals being enslaved, abused and then slaughtered; that is exactly what goes through humans and what shapes our society today. A plant food diet is the answer.
LOGICAL REASONS TO EAT A PLANT-BASE DIET
Animals: I ate meat my whole life not having a clue of what goes on with animal agriculture. There are no words to explain the horrific pain the animals endure in slaughterhouses, not to mention their living conditions, it’s absolutely heart breaking. I’ve always been a huge animal lover and like most of us didn’t really make the connection between “meat” and animals. It’s easy to be blinded and distracted growing up in our society; we are being sold on false needs and lied to by corporations and commercialism, we’ve been completely desensitized. Time to turn it around and go back to our true nature where we use to love and care for all animals as we were kids. Cows, pigs, chickens, and even fish, all have intelligence, emotions and feelings. They aren’t any different than our pets, they can feel pain and so as love.
Meat Industry: The meat industry is a “business”, just like the tobacco industry; it is completely unhealthy and in fact is the main cause of most diseases that is killing millions of people each year. Corporations and pharmaceutical companies have only one motive and that is to grow their numbers at whatever costs; the ongoing suffering of animals, people dying of diseases, children starving, and pollution, all in the name of money. But we have the power as citizens to simply stop buying animal products and let these corporations disappear.
Environment: Another major good reason for eating a plant-base diet is for how much more sustainable it is. A meat based diet uses almost 30 times more energy than a plant-based diet. A meat eater uses approximately 440 gallons of oil per year. An organic vegan will use approximately one fourth the petrol energy of a meat eater. 70 % of the water is being used up by animal agriculture, and a significant part of the rest of the water is polluted from animal agriculture. Meat eaters use 4,500 gallons per day, and the average vegan uses 300 gallons per day. Eating a plant-source-only organic diet supports organic farming, which decreases global warming/weather instability. The more people who eliminate meat and all animal products from their lives, the more we have a chance to save the planet and restore our earthy home to her original grace and beauty.
Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
ALBERT EINSTEIN, quoted in Sinfully Vegan
Vegetarianism preserves live, health, peace, the ecology, creates a more equitable distribution of resources, helps to feed the hungry, encourages nonviolence for the animal and human members of the planet, and is a powerful aid for the spiritual transformation of the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.
GABRIEL COUSENS, Conscious Eating
If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
PAUL MCCARTNEY, quoted in The Vegetarian Manifesto