Topic One - Raw Food
I have been playing with the concept of raw foods for a while now and to my absolute delight it was the first topic we covered in this course.
The term 'raw’ had come from so many angles; friends, websites, blogs, books, interviews, seminars, even journal articles, and my curiosity got the better of me, so simultaneously to this blog series I will be trialling a raw diet in our household (80% raw, 20% cooked – studies show that when correctly prepared and combined, raw foods can neutralise the harmful effects of overcooking… more about that later!!!).
I have heard remarkable accounts of raw food diets, and also the remarkably bad, and I will be the first to admit if it isn’t working; I am a full time mama, I need brain power for my studies and I need energy for the gym, I have a growing 2 year old son and a hungry husband who works long hours so it has to satisfy us all… I’ll let you know how we go!
So, what is raw?
It has been agreed by nutritionists, doctors and raw food enthusiasts that approximately 40 degrees Celsius is the temperature at which changes in foods can be found (water can be heated slightly higher, changes to the water molecules have been noted at 60 degrees Celsius), these changes generally degrade the food, the main affect is upon the depletion of enzyme content of the food. Enzymes are our life force. Without enzymes our cells would just be mere mass, we would just be mere mass.
When food is heated it becomes oxidized and this forms free radicals, free radicals damage the cells in our body and this has the potential to cause serious health problems. In fact it has been estimated that there are enough free radicals released in our bodies during every 24-hour period to subject each and every one of our cells to a thousand hits by unbalanced electron-stripping molecular fragments. This is war!
However be rest assured that a diet rich in all the necessary vitamins and minerals will naturally combat these free radicals and therefore protect us!Heat also changes the fats in foods and oxidized fat is another cause of serious health problems, an interesting fact; the smoke from a single steak's fat drippings contains as much of the carcinogen benzopyrene as the smoke from approximately three cartons of cigarettes! Don’t freak out too much, remember the vitamins and minerals…
Furthermore research conducted by Swiss Dr Paul Kouchakoff indicated that cooked food caused a reaction within our body called digestive leucocytosis, which is a white blood cell reaction, meaning the immune system has been activated. This essentially means, cooked food causes our body to react to it like it would a virus such as a cold. Interesting! What’s even more interesting is that, during the study, when subjects ate a cooked food item together with the same food in a raw state, no reaction occurred demonstrating the power of the raw food to neutralise. It would seem that those enzymes have more power than I realised!
So how exactly am I going to get some raw food into my diet and more to the point, how am I going to get it into my husband’s diet without him feeling lethargic and grumpy?
David Wolfe recommends the following daily food structure; what I like about it is that there are no food plans, he lets you have the freedom to experiment and eat what you enjoy eating, but still gives a really good base…This routine also acts as an everyday detoxification program, it’s natural and gentle…
Daily Routine for Detoxification
· 1 – 2 litres of water on an empty stomach – not only is this hydrating, it causes a bowel movement to detoxify at the beginning of the day. Sip the water, I found drinking it over a period of a few hours was the best, and I was surprised at how much clarity of mind and energy I had from this step alone!
· Have a liquid breakfast – super food smoothie (base of water, coconut water, rice milk, orange juice or tea then add hemp seed, goji berries, cacao beans, spirulina, maca, honey) If you like coffee then use that as a base and add the super foods – reishi mushroom will neutralise the acid reaction of a coffee.
· Later in morning (approx. 1 hour later when hungry); snack on goji berries and fruit, if you need more put protein with the fruit, sprinkle hemp seed straight on the fruit.
· For lunch eat a big salad and a sandwich (brown grainy bread) (remember to make your salad interesting, colour and variety!)
· 2pm-3pm pumpkin seeds, sultanas, dried cranberries, fresh berries, more nuts, make a trail mix.
· Evening – big green vegetable juice, use lots of green in the juice, this will calm your body and mind and prepare you for sleep, plus a big salad and one cooked item (fish or organic meat or rice or some vegetables)
· Late at night – if you are starving have fruit (not apple)
Don’t be scared of fat in raw food; nuts, avocados etc, you will not gain weight from these, when you are exercising and when you are eating an 80% raw diet. Even if you ate these foods in huge, huge quantities for an extended period of time, you would be lucky to put a few kilo’s on!
A lot of people are concerned about protein when they reduce or give up meat, yet the best sources of protein are raw organic plant based super foods. E.g. spirulina, blue-green algae, chorella. They are superior to meat because the protein is completely absorbed due to its liquefied state, therefore it reaches your cells very easily. Something like steak takes a huge amount of processing and energy before the protein will reach you on a cellular level. Did you know bee pollen has 7 times more protein than steak! If you eat meat though make sure it’s organic.
Above all else listen to your body!
Love, J x
Love, J x
P Kouchakoff M.D.,(1930). The influence of food cooking on the blood formula of man. Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Lausanne, Switzerland.