Friday, December 23, 2011

Raw food, less water

When you start eating more raw foods, you may find you’re not as thirsty or don’t need as much water or other beverages as you normally do. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, raw foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables have a higher volume of water in them, so your body is getting the hydration it needs from foods.

This doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water or juices. You don’t want to adopt some of the more radical elements of the raw food trend. First and foremost, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. If you’re overweight, sluggish, tired, depressed, your body might be telling you to make some dietary changes, and raw foods might be one way to alleviate some physical disorders.

But if you’re overweight and have symptoms of Type II diabetes, overwhelming thirst can be one symptom. When you start consuming more raw foods, with a higher fiber and moisture content, you may start to lose weight, and that can go a long way to reducing your blood sugars.

If you’re not overweight, or don’t have Type II diabetes, you still might find you’re not as thirsty as you normally are. First of all, if you’re drinking water and juices, you’re not consuming caffeine, which is so dehydrating and makes you thirstier. And by not consuming as much in the way of cooked foods or especially highly processed foods, which have astronomical sodium counts, you won’t be as thirsty either.

By consuming more raw, uncooked food, and pure water and fruit juices, you’re putting your body into balance. Keeping sodium to normal levels found in foods means you’ll start to require a more balanced amount of water. Don’t think of this as changing or taking away. Think of it as adding balance, and it will make the process of eating healthier much easier.

Why not processed foods?

Have you ever seen a picture of your blood plasma after you’ve eaten a meal from McDonald’s or Burger King? It’s not a pretty picture. It looks thick and cloudy. Fast foods are loaded with fat and sodium. They use white bread and rolls, which means they’ve used white processed flour, with very few nutrients in them.

And how do you feel after a Big Mac and french fries? You need a nap, don’t you? All that fat will drag you down and make you feel sluggish.

Going on a diet is hard, but think about some of the things you do when you go on a diet. You eliminate those high fat, processed, high-sodium foods. You eat less, true. But you also eat more raw fruits and vegetables. You drink water. And the results of eating this way are increased energy, less need for sleep. Processed foods, with their high fat content are hard to digest. They take an enormous amount of the body’s energy to consume. When your body’s energy isn’t used up digesting all that fat, it’s available for YOU – for work, play, love, exercise – in other words, for LIFE.

These aren’t drastic concepts. You don’t have to make drastic changes in your lifestyle. But take a good look at what you consume without even thinking about it. We reach for the potato chips, or stop at McDonald’s or Taco Bell when we’re hungry and we want something in a hurry.

It’s much easier these days to have snacks on hand so you don’t have to stop at a fast food place when you’re hungry. If you’re on the road a lot, and get hungry, pick up a bag of vegetables or apple slices at a grocery store. Yes, it’s easier to drive up to Wendy’s, but taking a few extra minutes, not to mention a few extra steps, will be well worth it in energy and vitality.

Vegetarian compared to raw

Is there a difference between vegetarian and raw food diets? A raw foodist is a vegetarian, but one who generally is not going to cook his vegetables or fruits. A vegetarian is someone who simply doesn’t eat meat, fish or poultry, but only consumes vegetables, pasta, and rice. A vegetarian might eat meatless spaghetti sauce or order onion rings in a restaurant. (Not the healthiest choice, but sometimes it’s hard to find something to eat in a restaurant if you’re vegetarian – even harder if you’re a raw foodist.)

There are different categories of vegetarians, like vegans, or fruitarians, and raw foodist is a category of vegetarianism. We haven’t seen anything about sushi being considered a raw food, but it is. Raw food, though, generally means eating raw, uncooked fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc.

But to be a raw food purist means raw broccoli, not steamed. To a vegetarian, someone committed to not eat meat or fish or animal products, steamed vegetables are just as good, although everyone would agree that steaming can take out nutrients from foods, rendering them less nutritious. A vegetarian might consume dairy or egg products; however a vegan will not consume any animal products at all. And a raw foodist is a vegan who consumes only uncooked, unprocessed raw foods.
Proponents of the raw diet believe that enzymes are the life force of a food and that every food contains its own perfect mix. These enzymes help us digest foods completely, without relying on our body to produce its own cocktail of digestive enzymes.
It is also thought that the cooking process destroys vitamins and minerals and that cooked foods not only take longer to digest, but they also allow partially digested fats, proteins and carbohydrates to clog up our gut and arteries.

Followers of a raw diet cite numerous health benefits, including:
• increased energy levels
• improved appearance of skin
• improved digestion
• weight loss
• reduced risk of heart disease

Raw only?

A diet is considered a raw food diet if it consists of at least 75% raw, uncooked fruits, vegetables, sprouts, etc. Raw and living foods are believed to contain essential food enzymes (living foods contain a higher enzyme content than cooked foods). The cooking process (i.e., heating foods above 116°F) is thought to destroy food enzymes.

People who follow the raw diet use particular techniques to prepare foods. These include sprouting seeds, grains and beans; soaking nuts and dried fruits; and juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is allowed is via a dehydrator. This piece of equipment blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116°F.

Do you have to follow the regimen that strictly? Of course not. But it’s certainly worth it to incorporate some of these techniques and ideas into your diet. If you tend to snack at work, try taking in carrots or apple slices. Many of the bigger grocery stores now offer packaged vegetables or fruits that make it easier to pack them and take them to work. We’re a nation of convenience, and much of the resistance to healthier eating is that it does generally take a little more effort and time to buy and slice fruits and vegetables. Food retailers have been catching on, slowly, and it’s much easier now to get bags of sliced carrots, celery, apples, nuts and raisins.

Of course these aren’t necessarily organic foods, and organic is the better way to go, but we think anything raw is infinitely better than cooked, processed food. If you have the time, do buy organic and slice them yourself. But if you’re in a hurry, and nowhere near a natural food store, then don’t beat yourself up or sabotage your efforts because you can’t do this 100% all the time. That’s not realistic. Anything from the fruit and vegetable aisle is going to be better for you than a potato chip, or worse yet, a french fry!


You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the value of a raw foods diet. A raw food diet consists primarily of uncooked, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seaweed, nuts and juices. It’s a vegetarian diet, but one that rejects any animal products. Its central tenet is that cooking and processing take out the majority of essential vitamins, enzymes and nutrients that our bodies evolved to thrive on.

Fruitarians, as the word implies, eat primarily fruits, with nuts and grains as well. A fruitarian diet also includes foods like tomatoes or avocadoes, which are fruits.
Fruit is nourishing and refreshing for your health. It doesn't clog the body's vital arteries; better still, it actually flushes and cleanses. A fruit diet also lightens our bodies and spirits, in line with the general lightening of our planetary vibration rate which many higher sources tell us is taking place at this time.

You need to eat carefully if you choose a fruitarian diet, because it can be more of a challenge to get enough essential protein in your diet. A fruitarian eats nothing which has been killed or stolen. That supplants meat, dairy, and plants with the thousands of fruit and nut combinations on the planet. E.g., a fruitarian can eat an avocado sandwich, a coconut milk shake or the purest coconut ice cream made from the milk and meat of the fruit, veggie burgers made of lentil or bean paste or tofu, a succotash of corn, limas, peas, and tomatoes, sweets made with pure maple syrup or date sugar, pecan pies made with fruit sugars, fruit shakes made of a mixture of orange and banana, pear and peach, pomegranate, papaya, and plum. A pizza of tofu, tomato, and pepper (not pepperoni), salads of tomato, cucumber, green and red peppers (but not lettuce, cabbage, or celery), nut butters such as almond butter or tahini, hummus {chickpea paste}. In other words, fruitarian may eat fruits 99.9% of the time, but occasionally do indulge in the delicacies of other food groups.


Vegetarianism and raw food enthusiasts fall into many different groups with different theories of what kind of natural foods are best. Most vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Vegans eat no animal by-products at all, including dairy or eggs. Fruitarians eat primarily fruits. And some vegetarians eat only sprouts.

Sprouts are very nutritious because they contain all the elements a plant needs for life and growth. The endosperm of seed is the storehouse of carbohydrates, protein and oil. When the seed germinates, these become predigested amino acids and natural sugars upon which the plant embryo feeds to grow. This life force we eat is filled with energy which is capable of generating cells of the body and supplying us with new vigor and life. For this reason sprouts can retard the ageing process.

Sprouts contain goodly amounts of male and female hormones, as well, in their most easily assimilated form. Research shows that sprouts are among the highest food in vitamins. They are not only a low cost food but are also tasty and easy to grow. Children and the elderly can make sprouting a profitable hobby. All of us can profit from the boost to health they provide.

Almost any seed, grain or legume can be sprouted though some are tastier than others. You may try mung beans, alfalfa, wheat, peas, fenugreek, chickpeas, radish, fennel, celery seed, etc. These are most readily found in natural food stores. Remember to soak small seeds only for 4 hours and beans for 15 hours. You also can mix these seeds. Get a 2 liter wide-mouth jar and a piece of cheesecloth or old nylon stocking to fasten as a cover with a rubber band. Put seed into the jar as follows:
2 Tsps alfalfa, 2 Tsps radish or fenugreek, 1/4 cup lentils, 1/2 cup mung beans. Soak these seeds for 15 hours and drain the water. Afterwards rinse and drain well twice daily for about 3-5 days. If you wish to make larger amounts of sprouts, so you may share with others, place 2 cups of mixed seed into a large porcelain pot, in the bottom of which holes have been drilled for easy rinsing. Simply place underneath the faucet and rinse morning and evening with warm water. Cover with a plate. The seeds grow beautifully and abundantly in a few days.


Many people have heard of juice fasts as a means of detoxifying the body. Followers of a raw foods regimen also include juices as part of their nutrition. Nearly anything can be juiced – fruits and vegetables, primarily. It’s a form of concentrated nutrition. Some raw foodists drink only fresh fruit juices.

In addition, fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of the traditional nutrients. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, etc.) provide a healthy portion of vitamin C. Carrot juice contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. A number of green juices are a good source of vitamin E. Fruit juices are a good source of essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine, and magnesium, which are bound by the plant in a form that is most easily assimilated during digestion.

While fruit and vegetable juices are the most common form of juice, wheatgrass juice has been getting a lot of attention lately because of the denseness of nutrients it contains.
The primary advantage of truly fresh wheatgrass juice - juice made from raw, live, soil-grown wheat grass, is the apparent high level of life force energy that it contains. It is one of the few truly fresh foods available (sprouts are another). The grass is alive and growing right up to the time it is juiced, and hopefully you are drinking it within a few minutes or so of juicing. Most of us get our green veggies from markets, and they were picked days ago and refrigerated - losing vitality the whole time. (It is an even worse situation for fruit, which may be picked weeks before you eat it, and in some cases, held in cold storage for months - losing vitality the whole time.) In contrast, one can grow wheatgrass indoors, and enjoy it when it is truly fresh.

In conclusion, drinking plenty of fresh fruit juices daily will cleanse your system, make you feel completely energized and last but not least, you will look beautiful. People will wonder what you are doing differently!