Fist time I heard: “We eat only raw…” I haven’t paid much attention. Vegans I thought, Ehm not quite right… So what exactly is it, this raw thing? Instead of Internet abuse and wading through tons of info on Google, I went directly to the source, a couple who are “Raw” for a few years now. So before I introduce to you a few Raw Recipes let’s have a small foreword.
I was overwhelmed by deep knowledge and passion of my hosts. After a day spent in that fruity-veggie heaven, I wasn’t leaving their lovely house hungry, actually I enjoyed raw meals, which was pleasant surprise for a naughty food lover as my self. In fact I fell in love with the Raw Chocolate Cheesecake (I had only one piece & I’m still dreaming about it…yumm) and Raw Zucchini Noodles – recipe coming soon! Yey yey!
What Google says
Raw Foodism (or following a Raw Food Diet) is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods. Depending on the exact philosophy or type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets may include a selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat and dairy products. Read Wiki to find out more.
Vegetarian vs Vegan vs Raw
- Vegetarian (no meat)
- Vegan (no meat and no products from animals, e.g. eggs, milk)
- Raw foodist (no cooked food at all, often combined with Veganism)
So what do they eat?
Well I was told, that a real Raw Food Diet should include uncooked, unprocessed foods ONLY, no animal products of any kind – so it makes it a Vegan Raw Foodism, I guess. They consume a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds & herbs. Surprisingly they do drink a tea as raw meals are allowed to be heated up to 42°C. Also soups, sauces & cakes are on the menu – so it’s definitely not all that boring as you may expect. I’m gonna try the Raw Zucchini Noodles this weekend, lets see what my “meat lover” BF would say :)
“Humans are the only animals who cook their food, that’s a fact. Have you ever seen a FAT deer, zebra, giraffe or pretty much any other wild animal? Nope! They eat only raw and what can be found in their natural environment.” True BUT firstly – what is natural food in a concrete jungle? Secondly isn’t that a part of the evolution? Maybe we would still eat raw food if God haven’t banished us from the heaven’s gardens…
Raw Foodists claims that your body can receive all important required nutrition from the raw diet plus it will restore your natural body environment. Opponents argue that cooking can break down food components that would otherwise bind minerals and prevent their absorption. Like I mentioned in the Lady carrot post – cooking liberates some nutrients, such as beta-carotene and other antioxidants from carrots.
…doesn’t disappear and yes, they do have a kitchen :) Instead of a cooker, oven & microwave – a blender, mixer & dehydrator comes to play. If you are serious about becoming raw you will need a powerful gadgets (have a look on this reviews – Blendtec vs, Vitamix: Who’s the Champ?). Fruit smoothies are the best sample of raw recipe that is probably already part of our diets (but most likely with added milk, yogurt or ice-cream :)). These fresh & fruity delights are best for breakfast – very filling. Note: drinking smoothies & juices through a straw reduces decay risk.
There are recipes of raw soups & sauces, and all “cooking” is happening in the blender! You’ll want to be sure that your blender will be powerful enough to liquefy the ingredients. For other blenders, you might need to chop and dice the ingredients first to ensure you’ll have a good soup consistency. Honestly I was quite surprised to see a steam rising from a freshly blended sauce. Dehydrator is another tool that can help make some foods softer or extend a storage life.
42 is in an important number when it comes to RAW foods. Foods heated over 42 degrees have a loss in nutritional value and the natural living enzymes in the foods are killed and the pH changes to acidic. Therefore any foods not heated, or which are heated less than 42 degrees are considered raw and still maintain full vitamins and nutritional value making it a lot more beneficial for your body (Source: 42 Juice – Think juice. Drink juice. They are providers of 100% raw, cold-pressed juices and juice cleanses, from Brighton, UK).
Also found this article while doing research about 42 degrees – 42: The answer to life, the universe and everything. I believe that everything in life is connected, but I’m still amused when it happens :)
Cooking bad OR good?
- Bad – Cooking, especially for long periods, can damage some vitamins. Boiling and steaming causes some vitamins and minerals to seep out of the food. Chemicals thought to cause cancer are formed when food is burned or oils are heated above the point at which they smoke.
- Good – It denatures proteins, essentially flattening them out, which can aid digestion. Cooking destabilizes toxic components of some foods, such as goiter-promoting properties of broccoli. It makes many foods more edible. Cooking can reduce the allergic reactions caused by certain foods.
Looking for a diet?
When we talk about a “diet”, we often mean a weight-loss regime. Raw Foodism is definitely not a new fancy type of weight-loss diet or some experiment. A belief that we don’t need to kill in order to feed, same as for Vegetarians. It’s a lifestyle, philosophy & a full acknowledgement of your body inside & out. First of all one’s mind has to accept all the facts and then and only then it will be a life changing experience. It’s a strong believe & decision for a different lifestyle, it does ultimately affect your social life, too. I would say, it’s almost like a religion. Raw Foodism has a scientifically proven results, supporting facts but in the same time many non believers, criticizes & opponents. As with a religion & politics it’s definitely NOT a party topic :)
Of course it will make you lose weight & it’s a fantastic detox diet, but as it is with all extremes our body will resist. After all those years the change and adaptation wont happen over night! No matter how strong your mind is the body will demand the usual food and it may win from time to time. It’s recommended to start slow (one raw day a week), otherwise it brings discomfort to your body & soul. Some people claims: “The diet simply made sense. Since humans are the only animals who cook their food, we’d have to be better off eating a more natural diet of raw foods…wouldn’t we? I tried it for few years, but it wasn’t for me, so I’m back to be a Vegetarian…”. Others eaten by their own regret, when they craved OR forced to eat cooked food (on holidays, air-plains etc.) and they give-up because they are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt & discomfort. It seems like a hard work, if you wish to see results and stand by your beliefs.
As I was told, when your body adopt & accept your new dietary lifestyle – you will feel light & clean. Your need for a food will drop down, but I guess that varies, depending on type of lifestyle one has. I’m not quite sure that it will fit me – 15h of work, gym & occasional party life burns lots of energy (not to mention alcohol is a big NO-NO obviously).
There is NO doubt in my head that fruit & vegetable are healthy, full of vitamins therefore good for us. But I don’t like extremes and my goal is to find balance between joys of life, health & happiness without limits if unnecessary. I was born and raised in a family of cook & food lovers, my grandpa was a butcher. I was growing up in the kitchen with a spoon in one hand and pencil in other. I enjoy cooking – the smell, the taste…
Nevertheless salads play a big role in Ukrainian cuisine. Here is one quick & fresh salad I do all the time: Wash, chop & mix: tomatoes, cucumber, radish, spring onion, peppers, wild rocket, parsley, olive oil, salt, black pepper. Great light dinner or side for your lunch.
Studies & Experiments
Trying to determine things like “when in human history, did we start cooking foods”, and how is development of the brain related to what we ate. Many groups have run various trials on how much food modern humans need to consume if they did not have access to meat or cooked foods. Various studies exist, but the basic breakdown is this: for a human to consume enough calories to simply live a sedentary life, on raw fruits and veggies alone, they would have to be eating nearly 5 hours a day! Oh wow, this what I call a “feast lovers”. :)
Don’t want to speculate if its good or bad. Who is right or wrong. For me is Raw Foodism a great detox plan, but its so much more. We all should choose whatever makes us happy and what we believe is a right, in our heart. Have a think, maybe its just what you were looking for :)
TIPs: This is just a light intro into a controversial raw topic. I would advise to do more research before you make a decision. I’m not an expert but I know some one who is (contact me if you are interested) + here are some links with more info:
“Each individual has a unique food personality.
The key is finding the balance point at which you feel great and are healthy.” ― Rachel Lynn Frank, Raw Energy Bar Invasion: 50 Fruit & Nut Bar Recipes
A special thank you to Elena & Anton! Hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check an incredibly tasty Raw Chocolate Cheesecake. Lots of love & health to all of you XXX
Fruits, vegetable, my quick & fresh Veggie salad, Raw Chocolate Cheesecake, Raw Zucchini Noodles… some of the pictures were taken with iPhone 4 are literally shit, oh cant wait for a new phone!!!