By Wayne Hoover
I have been on a raw food only diet since the summer of 2007 and have never felt better- in fact I never even knew that these levels of clarity- energy- emotional freedom- and strength were even possible until I switched to a all raw diet.
What is a raw food diet?
A raw food diet is one that consists of all raw foods- any food that is cooked over 104 degrees Fahrenheit is not considered raw. By definition a raw diet does not necessary exclude meat and dairy products many raw foodists eat raw goats cheese or raw milk on occasion- and there is a whole movement (called the primal diet) which considers raw meat to be a healing food. I personally do not agree with eating any animal product raw or not and follow a strictly raw vegan diet (the most popular raw diet is raw vegan).
Why a raw food diet?
Raw foodists tend to give varying answers as to why they eat a raw food diet; some quote scientific literature that states when you cook food you loose most of the vital nutrients contained in the food. Generally the scientific raw food argument is that vital enzymes are damaged in cooking food that makes cooked food nearly nutrient-less compared to its raw counterparts and therefor harder to digest and assimilate in the body.
In general raw foodists claim a very significant increase in overall health and well being in all areas of their life: increased mental clarity and increased emotional well being- increased stamina- increased eyesight- increased overall physical health- hightened senses- emotional freedom- weight loss- and a leading cause for the cure of many diseases including cancer have all been attributed to a raw food diet by a significant number of people.
After over two years of eating a purely raw vegan diet I absolutely affirm that this diet has given me physical health- mental clarity- emotional happiness- and a feeling of deep connection that I ever knew was possible. I attribute much of my success in all areas of my life to my diet. I absolutely feel so divinely great every single day that what the general public describes as sickness and dis-ease feel like distant memories to me. Eating a raw food diet is definitely one of the most amazing things to ever happen in my life.
What specifically does a raw vegan eat?
I really like how David Wolfe in his book The Sun Food Diet Success System segments raw food into three categories: fruits- greens and fats. The most obvious raw food is the fruit. Fruits include all the normal things we think of as fruits like bananas and apples and even some things we don’t usually think as fruits like avocados and tomatoes. In fact there are so many different varieties of fruit in the world that you could have a new variety of fruit every day for the rest of your life and not try the same fruit twice! Greens consist of all those green leafy vegetables you see at the farmers market including: spinach- lettuce- kale- collard greens and etc. Fats consist mostly of nuts and seeds including cold pressed virgin oils. Obviously listing all the possible fruits- greens- and fats you can eat is beyond the scope of this article but generally just have at the produce section of your local supermarket or health food store most of the items there are probably raw.
What doesn’t a raw vegan eat?
Generally a raw vegan will doesn’t eat anything processed- at least not in the conventional way. No rice cakes or peanut butter- no ice cream- no pizza- no sugar- no bread- no eggs- no milk- etc. A raw vegan diet is actually pretty easy to understand if the food doesn’t contain whole raw foods then it will not be eaten. A general rule of thumb is if the food you are eating can’t be found in the produce isle or isn’t a combination of things made from the produce isle then it probably isn’t raw.
The key to success in a raw food diet.
My general advice to anyone who wants to experience the magnificent results of a raw food diet is to simply start where they are by adding more and more raw food into their diet until they are eventually eating 100% raw food. As for what types of raw food to eat- how much and how often I usually recommend David Wolfe’s book as great place to look to find these answers. But generally I recommend you follow you listen to your heart and body. Douglas Grahm a very influential raw foodist loves to say that the key to success in the raw food diet is simply more bites. Since raw food generally isn’t as calorie dense as cooked food one simply needs to learn to eat more to receive the same amount of energy they are used to on a cooked diet.
A raw food diet does not consist of a simple apple for lunch and medium salad for dinner- this is the cooked perception of raw food. A raw food lunch might be a salad 3 diced apples 2 pieces of celery- a bag of washed spinach- some minced parsley- some raw almonds with a generous amount of spirulina sprinkled on top with a raw fruit dressing. Or it might be something more simple like 5 persimmons spread out over 2 hours (which is what I had today for lunch). In general the key to success in raw food is to get over the idea of small portions of fruit and vegetables and to eat really as much as you feel good eating (which means a lot).
A raw foodist though most be aware of how many nuts and seeds they are eating as its easy to eat to much of this food. Raw nuts and seeds hold many nutritional benefits but are hard to digest and are easy to overeat.
This post has been very general and should act as an introduction to raw food- I plan on posting much more on this amazing diet including topics such as; superfoods- the raw food diet and relationships- how to be a raw in a cooked world- and other general raw food techniques as they come up. Be sure to check out the raw food category for more posts on raw food.
May your diet uplift you and bring you happiness.