If you don’t have a good understanding of the concepts of raw nutrition — the thing that comes to mind is raw meat.  Ick.

I went raw…by accident.  I gave up all the foods I was allergic to and somehow accidentally found out that I feel best when I am eating raw foods.  I have more energy, I feel lighter and brighter.

It was touch and go at first because my body was not used to that much fiber.  After a while and with the help of enzymes, my body adjusted.

Eating raw is not a diet.  On the contrary, eating raw leaves you totally satisfied and free from overeating and food cravings.  Everything in your body and mind work together and tell you when you have had enough.  You don’t need to measure, count or suffer.

What is raw food?

Raw food is any food that has not been cooked over 118 degrees F.  When the food is cooked past being raw, it loses enzymes.

Why would you want to eat raw food?

When we are born, we have a certain number of enzymes.  These enzymes do a lot of different things in our body, one of the most important being digestion.  We use our allotment of enzymes up faster than other generations because the standard American diet consists of very little raw food.  The less energy our body uses to digest our food, the more energy our body has to work and play.  Eating raw is especially helpful for athletes because it naturally energizes.  If you want to learn more about raw nutrition and sports, Brendan Brazier is an excellent source of information.  He lives the raw food lifestyle, teaches it and explains it in a very straight forward manner.  He has several books out on raw nutrition and fitness.

Do you lose weight on raw food?

You don’t always lose weight on raw food.  It is like anything else, if you eat too much of certain foods you will put on weight.  If you are trying to lose weight you need to curtail the nuts and oils and too many fruits and eat more greens.

How much raw food do I need to eat to get the benefits?

If you are eating no raw foods…any amount of raw foods will benefit you.  If you just add a raw salad to your day, you will be way ahead of where you were yesterday.  You don’t have to eat 100% raw.  You don’t even have to eat 80% raw, if you increase your food to 50% raw, you will be doing really well.  We all should listen to our bodies.  I listened to mine and the more raw I ate, the better I felt.

Where do you get your protein?

Nuts, legumes,  spinach and other vegetables have protein.  Animal products, contrary to what many believe, is not the only source of protein.

I heard eating a raw lifestyle is dangerous.  Is this true?

It is important to have a good understanding of raw.  It is not good to live on cucumbers alone.  It is also not good to just eat fruit, especially for those who suffer from candida.  When eating raw, you need to eat a balanced diet, just like everyone else.  Carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats all make up a balanced diet and you can get it 100% raw, 80% raw or 50% raw.

Do you have to take a lot of vitamin supplements?

No, not necessarily.  I take multi vitamins, probiotics, Vitamin D3, enzymes and I get B12 shots.  B12 is really the only thing you can not get on a vegan/raw diet.  B12 is only available from animal products, with the exception of nutritional yeast, and there are a lot of people who can not tolerate nutritional yeast.  Most B12 supplements are ineffective and a waste of money.

What can you eat if you eat only raw?

Here is a typical day for me…

Raw protein shake w/ healthy fat, leafy vegetables, berries, 1/4 banana, chia seeds.

Raw protein bar w/ healthy fat, hemp protein and raw cacao

Raw protein shake (2nd half of breakfast)

Giant salad w/ apples, mixed greens, walnuts, avocado

Little salad w/ cucumber, avocado and hemp seeds

Sometimes, I skip the salad and just have a big green juice

…sometimes I get a treat with a raw cacao, mushroom, berry, chia pudding

That’s a lot of food!  Plus it is really delicious.

What about in the winter, don’t you want something warm?

I would allow myself to have warm any time I felt like it.  Soups, teas….warm won’t hurt you.  However, having said that, you can still eat foods that are warming without cooking it.  Nuts, roots and winter foods are warming and very satisfying in the cold winter months.

Don’t you miss desserts?

Heavens no!  Some of my favorite desserts now are raw.  Raw cacao is the best and when you mix it with other things…it is heaven.  Two of my favorite desserts came from Brendan Brazier/Vega/Thrive.  He released a raw carrot cake a couple years ago for Easter and it is delicious, it is made with pecans, dates…etc and the frosting is from agave, cashews and coconut oil.  It is devine.  For mother’s day the same year, he released a yummy cacao, coconut and maca bar.  I have changed both recipes a little, but they leave me with no shortage of goodies and the great thing is, when I have a 2 inch piece…that is all I want.  I don’t feel the need to eat and eat and eat until it is all gone.

Are you a little curious?  Do you have any questions for me?  Please ask away…I would love to answer them!

~Cathy

 

3 Comments

  1. Sandy

    Thanks for an excellent article. Went raw the first 4 months of 2012 and plan to go raw the last 4 months- appreciate the motivation!!

    Reply
  2. Cathy

    Good for you! Let me know how you feel!

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    Maj, that would be great! One meal a day…then tell me how you feel after a week! You are going to be surprised. Plus…it tastes so good if you do it right.

    Reply

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