Ravin-mad to be Raw?
Ravin-Mad to be Raw?
When I decided to go to 'Space of Love' festival in August 2008, I joked that I would never be able to live on a raw food diet as I was already such a 'pain in the arse' when it came to eating out or at friends/families houses (see 'All About Anita'page). Not eating this and not eating that, I always felt like an inconvenience and was often embarrassed by the attention. Wouldn't eating only raw food be social suicide?
These were all the questions that I asked at the festival....
What do you do when you eat out?
What do you eat at Christmas?
Don't you miss cooked food?
Then I sat and listened to what I didn’t realise at the time, was one of the most eminent speakers in the raw food world. The gorgeous Miss Angela Stokes. I had never heard of her or her story, but what I could see in front of me was a very healthy, beautiful female who I later learnt went from 21 stone down to 9 stone 9 lbs!!! Losing a whopping 156lbs/71kg. Angela passed around a photo album showing before and after pictures and I was so shocked at the extreme transition from this slender Angela standing at the front with the overweight (also with acne) Angela in the photos. Every negative question that I had about this lifestyle just flew out the window. How could I criticise something that could make someone look so bloody good!?! (see for yourself via my 'Links' page under 'Angelic Angela Stokes')
That was the moment I decided - this was the lifestyle I wanted to lead.
What is regarded as 'Raw Food'?
Fresh, uncooked fruit and vegetables should be your primary food source (preferably organic). This also includes leaves and roots that you can often find growing in your back garden.(dandelion leaves are a fave!)
Warning: Only eat if you are sure you have identified the plant and that it is edible!
Flowers, berries, vine fruits, mushrooms and sea vegetables are also raw. Raw sprouts are one of my favourite foods, hence why I am selling Buckwheat sprouts online. All seeds, nuts, beans and grains can be sprouted. Fresh and sprouted foods can all be found in nature and represent the greatest part of the raw food diet.
Another part of the raw food diet are foods that you tend to enjoy the most when first venturing on a raw food diet. It’s the sweet dried fruit and the dehydrated foods that remind us of our comfort cooked food days.
One of my favourite meals is a kale salad (see 'R-awesome Recipes'), but for someone on a normal diet this might seem boring or lacking in flavour. This is where dehydrated food comes into its own. You can create delightful dishes that radically transform from their original state. Dehydrators are great for crackers, bread, pizzas, pie bases, biscuits.....and the list goes on!
Then there are the puddings!! Mmmmm! Raw puddings have really come into their own recently and are my secret weapons when introducing friends to raw food. I made an apple crumble for the first time the other evening and I would challenge anyone to say that it didn’t put the yum in yummy! Raw cacao has become big business not only in the raw food world but also in the general marketplace thanks to people like Willie Harcourt-Cooze who recently did a series for Channel 4 called 'Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory'. He emphasised what we all know, which is, chocolate isn't bad! The milky, sugary concoction that is classed as chocolate today, most definitely is, containing as little as 14% cacao. The standard cacao bean goes through 3 heat processes depleting it of many of its nutritional properties and essential oils. Imagine the power of cacao in its raw state!
Well they do say that its the food of the Gods!
What is so wrong with cooked food?
I don't like to dictate to people what is right and what is wrong. It's not my place to tell you how to live your life, but I also feel that today’s media give us so many mixed messages of what’s good for us and what’s bad for us, that we end up running round in circles screaming 'WHAT DO I DO???'. We are slowly losing the ability to listen to ourselves, or our own intuition - what feels right to you and only you. Living on a natural, living food diet made complete sense to me and all I can do is tell you what I have heard and what I have read that has made me continue on this journey.
In the beginning all creatures ate only natural, raw foods that were found growing on the earth. Somewhere along the way, mankind began to use fire on his food. It has been suggested that this was done to keep food for longer. However, fire is a destroyer. It kills all the essential nutrients in our food. One of my favourite raw fooders, Kate Wood, highlights this in an extract that she found in 'The Essene Gospel of Peace', a reputedly overlooked book of the Bible. Now I am not religious, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest if you believe in Jesus or not, and for the sake of those of you who don't, I will change his name to Bob so that it doesn't cloud the issue here. Now 'Bob' advocates the issue of eating raw versus cooked food in the following passage;
'But I do say to you to kill neither men nor beasts, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death comes always death. For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also. And everything which kills your bodies kills your souls also. And your bodies become what your foods are, even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are. Therefore eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed, fire burned, frozen and rotten foods will burn, freeze and rot your body also.'
Well said Bob!
I am so glad that Kate Wood discovered this passage as I don't think I would be brave enough to say it myself for seeming mad. I think it highlights the saying 'You are what you eat'. Some of the above may seem dramatic and have you screaming 'Oh my Bob, LIGHTEN UP!'. Yet, this is the point where it will either resonate with you or it won't. Be happy to walk your own path away from what is classed as 'the norm'. Most people have started eating raw for a particular reason. I have read about people who have healed themselves of various diseases and health problems purely through the consumption of living foods; people who feel exhausted and unwell all the time or those who want to lose weight and just generally feel comfortable in their own bodies.
(They say you are what you eat! Aren't I stunning?)
What do you eat in a typical day?
It has taken me a while to establish when my body copes with digesting food properly.
I drink at least 2-3 pints of warm water when I wake up. Then for a small breakfast I either have buckwheatie cereal or ground flaxseed porridge. That sets me up until lunch when I tend to have my vegetable juice. Many raw foodists don’t have any breakfast and just have a juice or smoothie but I tend to need something more substantial in the morning but this may well change with time. I then have my big salad for the day or my favourite at the moment is a 'burger' using two small Portobello mushrooms as the bun and filling it with a nut pate and lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.
I drink as much water as I can throughout the day. Then for dinner, which is no later than 7 o’clock, I usually have a fruit smoothie. I adore mango and banana blended in with a teaspoon of spirulina.
I tend to want something sweeter at the end of the day but not too complicated a meal for my body to cope with e before ZZZzzzzzzz.
Oooooo Heaven is a place on earth, they say in heaven, smoothies come first, OOOooooo Heaven is a place on earth’. That’s how it goes, isn’t it??
I am not telling you to eat 100% raw foods, but to try and incorporate more raw living foods into your diet and see how it makes you feel. Hopefully I have highlighted that raw food is by no means boring or tasteless. Because if it were, I would have given up a long time ago!
B happy! J