Raw food for beginners

We at Detox Your World promote raw foodism. Here we explain what the raw food diet is, and how you can start eating it.

What is the raw food diet?

People on a raw food diet eat 100% raw, uncooked food. There are many people who find this a little difficult (often due to social constraints), so they choose a 75-99% raw food diet. Most raw foodists are vegetarian or vegan, but some eat raw fish and meat.

The benefits of a high-raw or all-raw diet are clear:

• Increased energy
• Weight loss (or gain if you were too skinny)
• Diseases disappearing
• Happiness, and often bliss

The actual food eaten by raw foodists varies greatly, aside from those who eat a balanced raw diet, there are natural hygienists, sproutarians, fruitarians, juicearians and living foodists.
Most raw foodists eat a high proportion of organic or wild food in the belief that conventional food is more toxic and weaker.

 Jason Vale (The Juice Master) agrees that raw foods and juices should make up a large proportion of our diet. Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone all love the raw food diet. Why? Because these foods are cleansing, energy-giving, full of life and help people avoid disease associated with the Standard UK Diet (SUKD) and Standard American Diet (SAD). As our government embarks on a healthy eating campaign, let’s think about looking to nature to get it right. It’s sooooo simple!

What’s your involvement in the raw food diet?

I’ve been promoting raw food for nearly five years. I ate exclusively raw for four years, until I became pregnant and nothing quite tasted the same after that. I currently eat about 80% raw, and rising. My personal web site, www.shazzie.com attracts over 10,000 people per day, so many many people get to hear about raw foodism. I present it in a way that makes it accessible — you don’t have to drop out of society to eat raw (unless you want to!!).
If you don’t want to stop eating cooked foods, then make the decision to cut out microwaved foods and to have at least 50% raw food in each meal to stop yourself suffering from leukocytosis and a suppressed immune system.

What do you eat?

This is the big question, as the diet is so different from the SUKD. I’ve developed over 300 raw recipes, so it’s certainly not limiting. I base my recipes on the following foods:
• Fruits, dried, fresh or frozen
• Vegetables, dried or fresh
• Sprouts
• Herbs and spices
• Nuts and their butters
• Seeds and their butters
• Ancient grains, soaked or ground
• Sea vegetables, often dried
• Algaes, sometimes frozen or compressed into tablets

I personally pay particular attention to superfoods, such as maca, wheatgrass, goji berries, raw chocolate, chlorella, spirulina, E3Live and others.
Raw foodism is the oldest diet in the world. It’s the only diet for every species in the world except humans and the animals they keep. It’s the ultimate fast food diet — just pick and go!

Is it expensive?

The reality is, that your health isn’t something that should come down to cost. It can be expensive to buy organic fresh foods, but if you’re resourceful, it doesn’t have to be. Think about growing sprouts on your windowsill for a few pennies. Think about planting some fruit trees, growing greens, foraging. I know people from all walks of life who make raw living seem easy simply because they’re resourceful and fit raw food into their lives because they love the benefits. I also know of people who use every excuse under the sun to not eat raw, even though they say they want to! Money is just one of those excuses, if you want to eat raw, you will.
You are what you eat. Because we know this phrase to be so true, think what you want to be made of: a starch-bomb baked potato or strong, wild and free greens…

Do you need special equipment?

You don’t need it, but many people do have it. Dehydrators, the Vita-Mix, juicers and several other gadgets are often found in the raw foodists kitchen. Take your time with buying stuff, and remember that you can get by with just your hands!

Will I become deficient in anything if I eat just raw food?

You can be deficient in nutrients on any diet. The SUKD diet is low in phyto-nutrients, B12, the anti-oxidant vitamins and water. The nutrients to watch out for on a UK-based raw food diet include vitamins B12 and D, essential fatty acids and protein.  I recommend Udo’s Oil, vegan DHA (made from golden marine micro-algae) and flax seeds in the diet. The superfoods will cover your protein needs when eaten regularly. There is no need to eat animals to get enough protein — I’ve been a vegan for 21 years and have never had a protein deficiency. There are also lifelong vegans and raw-vegans who are also in tip-top health.

Can children eat raw food?

Children have very different needs to adults, so the raw food diet is different for them, just as a cooked food diet is. There are children being raised successfully on a raw food diet. For more information, I recommend you read Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine and Evie’s Kitchen. As with all diets, proceed with knowledge and care.

How do I start eating raw food?

I’ve coached many people with raw food, and the most successful method has been this: change one meal at a time. Become comfortable with that meal, then change the next one. For example, you could first of all alter your breakfast. Make smoothies, eat fruit, make juices, have raw muesli with nut milk etc. Then, when you’re happy with that, alter your lunch. Make cabbage burritos, lettuce or nori wraps, salads, dehydrated goodies such as burgers or crackers with hummous and guacamole. Then alter your evening meal. Remember, there are some great raw recipe books, so you can always have something different to eat. Making your snacks raw could mean eating dried fruits and nuts or enjoying vegetable sticks with dips.Finally, including superfoods every day will ensure you get more minerals and other nutrients that may be missing from a normal raw diet.

Things to do
Enjoy food in its natural state. If you can’t eat it raw and unprocessed, ask yourself “Is this food designed for humans?”
Look at food as it’s being cooked. See the water disappear, the colours fade and the textures change. Really think about the logic of eating this man-made food.
Ask yourself if you’re as healthy and happy as you could be. If the answer’s no, then change something. The saying goes: If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what your getting. Change your eating habits and the results will follow.

I hope this little introduction into the world of raw foodism has helped you decide to add more raw food into your diet. Try changing one thing at a time, because being gradual causes the cravings and detox symptoms to be minimal. Above all, enjoy your journey into raw foodism, it opens up many more doors than those I’ve mentioned here!

Shazzie
xx

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