Living Raw: Eating Like Nature Intended
- Tuesday, 01 July 2008
Hi. I'm Wayne Gendel and I am a Living Raw Foodist! I am thrilled to have joined the Naturally Savvy team to tell you what it means to eat a raw / living foods diet. For over thirty years now, more than 80% of my diet consists of fresh, living, raw foods. In fact, the seventh most popular diet today is considered the living raw foods diet.
Did you know the unhealthiest creatures on this planet are the ones that eat over-cooked and over-processed food? Who are they? Humans? Yes! but there are others too. Can you guess? I will answer at the end of this article but you will probably figure it out as soon as I make some thought provoking observations about diets.
Humans have many more diseases than found in wild animals. In nature, and in some human cultures, contemporary diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are very rare. What do they have in common? Animals in the wild eat a natural, fresh, un-cooked diet. These healthier human cultures also eat more raw foods, and live farther away from hospitals, supermarkets and fast food places.
And there is another effect of eating fresh, living raw foods. Have you ever seen an overweight wild animal! Nature's plan has evolved over millions of years. Think about it!
Scientific studies have shown that, when more than 20% of a meal consists of cooked food, the body can begin to exhibit the following ill effects: more energy is needed to digest; the pancreas releases more insulin; and there is an increase in white blood cells. Raw/living foods digest much quicker than cooked foods. For example fresh fruits and vegetables digest in 1-2 hours whereas a meal of meat and potatoes could take 4 hours or more! Maybe that is why raw food enthusiasts claim to have more energy, clearer skin, natural weight maintenance, higher mental alertness, fewer aches and pains, no body odor and a more positive mental outlook.
Don't despair! If you think a raw food diet consists of eating carrot sticks and bananas, you are in for a huge surprise! Raw living food 'un-cook' books and restaurants are popping up all over, and not only in North America, but around the world. Delicious, award winning dishes are being created like: raw lasagna, un-milk shakes, and fancy tiramisu deserts! Health stores have a new raw chocolate bar that has only a few ingredients, but tastes amazing!
The New York Times reported some restaurants are instructing their chefs to follow the latest recipes from Chef Juliano's Raw, the Uncook Book. Roxanne's, a San Francisco all-raw restaurant, has won rave reviews in Gourmet and the Wine Spectator with their tasty "Raw-violi" made with thinly sliced sweet potatoes stuffed with macadamia "cream".
Living/raw food enthusiasts (whose diet consists of 80% or more raw/living foods) are turning off their ovens at home. Their newly equipped kitchens include industrial blenders at $400, juicers ranging from $400-$2,000, and high-tech dehydration ovens ranging from $250 to $3,000. These ovens use low temperature forced air to preserve foods like flax bagels, marinated mushrooms, and banana and apple fruit leathers. Making and eating your own raw foods is a rapidly growing trend. Charlie Trotter, Chicago's main stream chef and cooking legend, has a raw cookbook available on Amazon.com called "Raw".
As increasing evidence surfaces more people are becoming concerned about their foods. The documentary Super Size Me chronicled the effects of eating only fast food. After a month doctors found the consequences were getting serious and some significant health problems were appearing. Eric Schlosser, in his bestseller Fast Food Nation, observed that 90% of the food Americans eat is highly processed. Processed food is mixed with chemical additives to prolong shelf life, and is artificially textured and scented to enhance look, feel and flavor.
How food is prepared is important too. For example, the microwave oven can make damaging alterations to food. Dr. Lita Lee of Hawaii, in her 1989 article in The Lancet Medical Journal reported that some proteins in microwaved foods are converted to toxic poisonous compounds. A 1991 lawsuit in Oklahoma claims a hospital that warmed blood for a transfusion in a microwave oven ended up killing the patient.
Fat is one of the most harmful cooked foods which turns into trans-hydrogenated fat. Relatively speaking, your body experiences most cooked fats like trying to digest basketballs as compared to raw fats which are smaller, like golf balls. Cooked fat is much harder to digest, and it is more likely to stay in your body and make you fat! And consuming dead processed foods may be even worse than eating cooked food.
Today's world is the result of millions of years of evolution. We were designed to live and eat naturally, and man's interference with nature's ways is not necessarily successful or beneficial. The fast food generation receives inadequate nutrition because our food is over cooked, over processed, laced with chemicals, and even radiated! Yikes! Radiated? Does that sound healthy?
So!Have you figured out who else, besides man, are the unhealthiest creatures on earth? How about our domesticated pets? what do they eat? Consider adding more raw/living foods to your diet. Nature's example, and mounting evidence, supports making this change in your lifestyle. What can be better than a fresh, ripe, sweet mango or papaya!
See you in the produce section!