What does a raw food diet involve, what can you eat and I guess more importantly what can’t you eat. It’s a question I get asked a fair old bit – along with the ‘where do you get your protein from??’ so I thought I would address it in a little more detail today.
The raw food diet is based on unprocessed plant foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts left in their natural and raw state; that is not heated above 116 degrees F. It is believed that at this temperature and above the enzymes, nutritional value and ‘life force’ of the food are diminished.
There are many ways to eat a raw food diet but the most popular are the following:-
- Raw gourmet – The same cooked dishes eg – pizzas, breads, cakes etc remade with all raw ingredients. This type of food relies heavily on nuts and other fats and is probably not an altogether healthy way of eating on a permanent basis.
- LFRV – Low fat raw vegan or the 80/10/10 diet is Dr Doug Graham’s take on this way of eating. He recommends that 80% of your daily calories comes from carbohydrates, 10% from protein and the other 10% from fat.
- Fruitarian – An all fruit diet.
- Raw diary and raw meat eaters – some people eat raw milk and products and also raw fish and meat and still consider themselves part of the raw food movement.
I do a combination of the first three. I pretty much stick to a version of 80/10/10 with lots of fruit during the week and then experiment a little more with raw gourmet dishes at the weekend.
Drinks cause another topic for discussion and I think the general concensus is that sun-warmed drinks are preferrable over hot drinks. Personnally I couldn’t do without hot drinks throughout the winter months and also use the dehydrator to warm foods over the colder part of the year along with soups made from hot water.
I think if you are living in a tropical country then eating a very strict ‘raw’ diet is easier to achieve than living somewhere like the UK. I would rather allow myself warmed foods and hot drinks and have my diet retain (in my mind at least) its raw status, than try and force myself to eat a diet that will make me miserable and is darn hard to achieve in this climate.
The other subject that normally divides the raw food community is supplements. Should we supplement our diets. I’m for supplements for several reasons.
- I believe that our soils are severely mineral deficient due to years of intensive farming.
- Long transit times of fruit and vegetables contributes to a higher rate of degradation of key vitamins and minerals. A lot of my calories comes from juicy, sweet fruits that have been on said long journeys.
Sunshine – or rather lack of it. Contrary to popular belief that the sun is bad for us it actually provides us with vitamin D which is an essential vitamin. Living in the northern hemisphere means that we go long periods of the year without adequate exposure to good sunlight.
It is for these reasons and others that I supplement my diet with the following:-
- Probiotics – for good gut health.
- Kelp – supports the thyroid gland.
- Selenuim – I am on a couse of daily infrared saunas at the moment and selenium is lost through the sweat so is important to keep it topped up.
- Blue green algae, spirulina and chlorella – are extremely rich in minerals and have a higher concentration of beta-carotene than broccoli. They contains about 60-70% vegetable protein and all the essential amino acids. Also a rich source of iron, B vitamins including B12, enzymes and antioxidants.
- Vitamin D3 – very imporant little vitamin and my only source of this vitamin is through the sun so an important one to supplement because living in the UK = no sun.
So, as you can see I take a fair amount of supplements on a daily basis. These are probably the ones that I take consistantly. I normally throw them in a smoothie first thing and then they are down and out the way. I do take other things from time to time for example I am experimenting with the following at the moment to see if they make any noticeable difference.
- Maca root – a root plant from Peru it is widely used to help balance hormones – a girl needs all the help she can get!!
- Mequite meal – A North American plant highly effective in balancing blood sugar.
Hope this gives you a little more insight into the raw food diet.
Today’s food has been:-
Orange, grapefruit, celery, spinach and banana smoothie.
Orange, grapefruit and banana smoothie.
Large salad with red onions, toms, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, seeds, beetroot, carrot, sweet potato and coconut oil.
Pineapple, banana and coconut water smoothie.
Exercise today has been:-
Ashtanga self practice – standing sequence.
No chocolate today has been:-
Thanks for reading……………….