Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The RAW Truth

While perusing a couple of blogs, I encountered a post from a relatively normal blogger celebrating her one year anniversary since going raw. Raw? Who eats Raw? No cooked food?

I'd previously associated the Raw food movement with the fringe of society but as I read this blogger's story, I felt as if I was reading my diet and health history. I continued to read how moving to a high Raw diet helped her symptoms immensely and suddently, eating Raw didn't seem so out there. Here's a women around my age (and with a family to boot) making this lifestyle choice work!

That was a couple of weeks ago and now I can't get enough on the topic. Specifically, living a raw, vegan lifestyle. I have seen where some people choose to incorporate raw meats/eggs into their diets. To this ServSafe certified girl, that's too risky.

As I just alluded to above, there are different types of Raw Foodism so I'll provide a brief, general overview. Hope this helps if you've kept your head in the dark like me.

Farmer's Market we visited while on vacation
The Basics 

- Foods are not heated above 115oF (45oC). So you're not forced to eat only cold food; it can be warmed!

- Foods can be frozen depending on the raw foodist to whom you are speaking. This is an area of debate because the viability of frozen enzymes is compromised. 

- Foods heated above 115oF are believed to have lost nutritional value and therefore are not as potent.

- Foods typically eaten are fruits; vegetables; nuts and seeds; sprouted grains and legumes.

Food Preparation

In general, food prep is easy as fruits and vegetables are naturally ready-to-eat! Soaking and sprouting, of course, require more planning. And there are gourmet raw recipes such as raw lasagna, for example. So it's up to the individual to determine where in the raw food spectrum they want to be.

Why Raw Food?

- Increased intake of digestive enzymes, helps promote optimal digestion. Digestive enzymes are destroyed when heated above 115oF. 

- Greater intake of unprocessed foods leads to better health, increased energy and sustainable weight management. 

- Reduced intake of processed foods decreases exposure to excitotoxins

As with all non-traditional diets, debate surrounds raw foodism. I'm working on a book review post that will address these issues.

I'm sensing an adventure in the offing!

- Kareen, RD

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