Tuesday, February 23, 2010

7 Myths of a Raw Foods Diet

The more I travel, talk to people, answer their questions about raw foods, I find that there is a block or a challenge when it comes to eating more raw foods. Most of the time, people have bought into the myths of a raw foods diet and therefore they avoid it all together. Once when I was in Chicago, one woman told me that fresh food costs too much money and she could only afford to eat canned fruits and vegetables. So here are the 7 Myths of a Raw Foods Diet and the Real Truth of a Raw Foods diet.

  • Myth #1 - A raw foods diet is too expensive.
Everything is perception and at first when you eat more raw foods, it may seem expensive because you are shopping more for fresh, organic, local produce or because you are buying different equipment and tools for your kitchen and different pantry items to concoct your recipes, but you can actually save money on a raw foods diet. What I've found to be true is that the more raw foods I eat, the less portion size I consume and also I've found great produce markets and farmer's markets where the local organic produce is very inexpensive. Shopping at high-end gourmet health food stores and supermarkets will break your bank. I also instead of buying my nut butters which I use to provide bulk and substance to my diet as well as protein, I make at home in my food processor by adding the nuts, olive oil, and some salt and then I store them in containers and snack on them during the week. I'm not sure if I spend more money on food than the average person or not, but I do know that I don't take any medications which cuts down on costs and I haven't had the need to see a doctor in over 7 years which also cuts down on costs and because I eat so simply, other areas in my life have called for that same simplicity and moderation which also cuts down on costs.
  • Myth #2 - A raw foods diet is too cumbersome and hard to maintain.
The more I embraced raw foods, the less cumbersome and easy I found it to maintain. Also because I eat more simply than I have ever eaten before, I have found that having a really organized kitchen by having ample storage containers, a compost container, and a place to store everything makes it not only easier to maintain the diet, but it makes a very pleasant experience. Eating more living and fresh foods brings joy to my life. I now look forward to taking trips to the produce market and seeing what new fruits and vegetables are available and I also enjoy experimenting with recipes. It only becomes cumbersome and hard to maintain if you are not embracing the food and surrounding yourself with people who eat like you as the influence of others can hinder your joy in embracing this diet.
  • Myth #3 - Raw foods is dangerous because of the bacteria on food.
All food should be handled carefully, with clean hands only, and prepared on clean surfaces. Its also important to consume fruits and vegetables as soon as possible when they are really fresh as this can cut down on the possibility of the growth of harmful bacteria on them. There is the case of fermented vegetables which is when vegetables are kept at room temperature in a sanitary container for a number of days to ferment so that it activates the lactobacilli which is naturally present in raw cultured vegetables as well as in our digestive tract but this bacteria is beneficial for your body. There are friendly bacteria necessary to break down foods in our digestive tract. It is also not necessarily true that when food is cooked that it kills the bacteria.
  • Myth #4 - A raw foods diet does not supply enough nutrition.
This is exactly the opposite. A raw foods diet supplies the body with all of its necessary vitamins, nutrients, and minerals it needs to thrive. It as well naturally hydrates the body with its high water content which means that you don't have to drink as much water and it is also a natural detox diet which means that it it constantly detoxing the body of toxins. As far as protein is concerned dark leafy greens are known to have the most digestible protein on the planet.
  • Myth #5 - Raw foods does not taste good.
This all depends on the creator of the dish. Raw foods can taste just as good, if not better than cooked food and with just as much or as little or no seasoning at all. What is great about raw and living foods is that because the natural juices in the food are so scrumptious for the body, you don't always have to season the food. It all depends on one's palette.
  • Myth #6 - You have to eat a 100% raw foods diet to enjoy the benefits.
Absolutely not true. I've experimented with a 100% raw foods diet and I've enjoyed many of the benefits such as flawless skin, a high energy level, and a higher immunity to disease. But I've also gone 80/20, 50/50, etc with raw and cooked food and I've noticed that I still maintained the benefits. Getting more live and raw foods is important for the overall health of the body because it naturally detoxifies our bodies and supplies the body with enzymes but its not necessary to eat 100% raw. Everyone's body is completely different and some people just can't eat a 100% raw foods diet.
  • Myth #7 - There is not much diversity in a raw foods diet.
There are more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains on the planet to eat than there are animals to eat. There is so much diversity in a raw foods diet. The reason why people believe this myth is because as humans we tend to eat the same food over and over again and we tend not to experiment with different foods. We also tend to shop in the same place and therefore we are only going to be exposed to what the market is asking for. Its important to read about different food, venture into other neighborhoods to shop for food, try different ethnic and exotic fruits and vegetables, and experiment with different herbs and spices to season your food. I've been playing around a lot with caraway seeds which is a spice that I probably would have never heard of if I didn't eat a raw foods diet.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Communal Salad

Yesterday was my sister's 37th birthday and I made all the food, but what I wanted to share with all my readers was the communal salad that my family found to be the greatest treat! Its amazing how nourishing a simple, colorful, salad can be for your family. It has jicama on top, beets, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, arugula, mixed greens, purple cabbage, and red peppers in the salad. We had a creamy tahini and chive dressing with it and it was just fabulous. It went faster than the veggies pizzas I made also.

Making pretty shapes with your vegetables, putting them in a big wooden bowl, and topping it off with a great dressing adds to the eating experience of sharing it with family. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Last Day of My Master Cleanse

I just finished wrapping up a radio interview with KJLH FREE Radio 102.3 in Los Angeles with Dominique DiPrima talking about raw foods and all the benefits and this is the 10th and the last day of my master cleanse as well. I haven't done the master cleanse in over 5 years and even though this was probably the easiest one of the cleanses that I have done in the past, I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my 40 day cleanse and detox which will consist of The Full Body Detox by Dherbs.com along with eating a 100% Live Foods Diet. For the next five days or so, I will slowly transition into eating solid foods as I will be juicing and making smoothies and occasionally have whole piece of fruits.

I must say this time around the cleanse has been awesome. Even though I was a bit more tired than I expected, I'm glad that I listened to my body and slept as often as my body wanted and needed. On this cleanse, I think I benefitted more mentally, spiritually, and psychologically and I attribute that to probably years of eating a mostly live foods diet and cleansing my body on a regular basis so my body didn't necessarily have to do so much work to physically remove toxins. But mentally I felt sharper and more clearer than ever on this cleanse and during the last four days of my cleanse, I even noticed myself being able to absorb information and ideas more easily.

Cleansing is a powerful tool for the mind, body, and spirit. Taking a break from digesting solid foods and taking it easy on your body and your life is so important in order to rejuvenate ourselves and to remember that our bodies are meant to feel and look healthy and light.

I look forward to sharing more of my experiences with all of you at a later date as I move into the next phase of my cleanse and share with your tips and advice on how to have the best cleanse possible for your budget, your lifestyle, and your health as I strongly believe that being healthy and feeling healthy contributes to the greater good of all living beings ont this planet.