Dear Devoted Readers: I wrote this a few months ago for a publication that has yet to hit the streets, but there is no exclusivity to it, so here it is for you:
Rumblings over Raw Food
By now you’ve probably heard something about eating an all living or raw foods diet. You might be a little reactionary, a little defiant, a little curious, a little like you can’t begin to think of how to transit from where you are now to where you should be. You may be vegan, vegetarian, pseudo vegetarian (chicken and fish is ok) or even eating organic bison and essene bread, thinking you are eating healthy already. It may seem like an impossible jump. You may be tempted to make it though, because of extravagant claims of redeemed health and wellness, increased immunity to disease, elimination of physical disorders, freedom from pain, increased energy and higher spiritual sensitivity. Well, it’s all true. As you enter into the fray, you will hear a lot of contradictory remarks over subjects like 100% raw, mono diets, fasting, colon cleansing & hydrotherapy, juice feasting, superfoods and supplements.
Firstly, 100% raw is never 100% raw. These preachers neglect the small (and not so small grievances) that range from dashes of soya sauce and spices to full plates of meat and rice. So don’t get hung up on that like it did. After years of wanting to, I finally went raw in April 2006. I read the well known and well respected researcher, Victoria Boutenko’s book, Green for Life, bought a high powered blender, indulged myself for the last time (or so I thought) with a tub of homemade tiramisu and took the plunge.
Within 6 weeks, I lost 15 lbs, gained lots of energy as well as mental and physical dexterity; I could type faster, articulate clearer, my skin was better, joint pain disappeared, digestion was better. I was able to do this with my own determination and will power, however I highly recommend attending a Health Retreat to kick start yourself if you can’t manage the transition on your own.
I didn’t even give up the things I loved. Except for coffee, I was technically raw. I still drank coffee (black) in the morning, still drank a bottle of wine a day (more or less) and still ate raw fish. I know a lot of people don’t drink that much, but I did at the time and wanted to make a healthy change without a feeling of deprivation. As it turned out, I was living a truly gourmet lifestyle. Raw cuisine is the best food you’ve ever tasted if prepared correctly. It is a complete transformation in the kitchen though and can take a bit of trial and error to get it right. I know that top chef’s are now making living foods cuisine because it is the only new frontier on their horizon.
Since I am traveling all the time, I eat very simply now. As almost comical as it sounds, the Green Smoothie is the key to my raw diet. Originated by Victoria Boutenko, the Green Smoothie is the missing link in everyone’s diet. Upon studying the eating habits of chimpanzees, who share our DNA by 99.6 %, she discovered that 40% of their diet is leafy greens. Leafy greens are everything from edible weeds pulled out of your lawn to over priced gourmet lettuce from the trendy market place. Just put them in the blender with whole fruit and go. The proportions are 40% greens to 60% fruit. You can also add bee pollen, goji berries, flax seed or other superfoods to increase it’s potency. Even if you change nothing else about your diet and add the green smoothie, you will improve your health, noticeably.
If you opt not to go to a retreat to get foundational knowledge, you will have to glean it yourself. There are mountains of books, videos, websites, blogs, internet radio and teleconferences on the subject. In the last few years the movement has gone viral on the net. Join a forum dedicated to raw foodists. Almost every community these days are hosting raw potlucks. Go to MeetUp.com and find one near you. Becoming a living foods eater changes you from the inside out. The common thread among all raw foodists is the positive transformations they experience. Because of this there are no restrictions on who can enter the club. You will find toddlers to grannies at most gatherings.
The second most important thing to do on a raw diet after eating is cleansing. No vegan or vegetarian diet has left you immune from the mucoid plaque build up in your colon. 80% of the immune system is in the bowels!! There are many good cleanses on the market. I really enjoyed the 9 day Blessed Herbs Cleanse colon cleanse. However, if you just want to do it yourself, the main ingredient to herbal cleansing is psylliam husks. Find out how to add them to your regular diet and still cleanse. The other alternative is colon hydro therapy where you pay a professional to give you a water flush. These are easy, quick and very effective. You can also learn how to do that yourself too. I have yet to bring myself to the challenge.
Don’t expect your raw journey to be a walk in the park. You will probably regress in one way or another. As one raw colleague told me recently, the process is like a spiral rather than a straight line. There are untold health practitioners out there multiplying like lemmings at the moment. Do your research, trust you inner self and learn from your own experience when digesting information on the subject. Undoubtedly, you will find people you resonate with to help you on your way. If you are tired of listening to yourself complain about your problems, the raw or living foods diet can be the miracle that saves your life and guarantees your future.
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