Get answers and recipes for the Raw Food Lifestyle here
What is the Raw Food Lifestyle?Many people think about changing their diet these days. Everybody wants to be more healthy, vital and in good shape. We hear horror stories about processed food, factory farms, GMO and… We hear about health issues, obesity, allergies and… But which is the right diet? The raw food lifestyle is really the best way to eat nutritious, healthy and natural food.
But there are questions how to incorporate raw food into our daily life, is it tasty, is it easy to do? Get all the questions answered here and find tasty recipes to start. This is the ultimate guide to a healthy lifestyle. See also how it affects our life expectancy
All Question Answered About The Raw Food Lifestyle
Raw foods – you hear about them all the time if you visit certain cities and hang out in certain circles, but what are they? Are they healthy? Are they tasty? Is it difficult to be on a raw food diet? There are many questions to be answered, but to sum it up, raw foods are foods that haven’t been cooked above approximately 42 degrees Celsius, so as to keep the enzymes alive and they can be tasty, healthy and, of course, nakedly sexy!
Source via www.pinterest.com
Do raw foods have to be disgusting?
A few years back I took two of my friends to a raw food place in Los Angeles. I ordered a chocolate cake and they ordered a spirulina cake. It was green and tasted like…spirulina.
If you have ever tasted Spirulina (algae) you know that it isn’t exactly cake material. You might use it as an undertone, but not as a main flavor. Not if you haven’t combined it very, very wisely with something else to balance it out. This place hadn’t. It tasted like spirulina, plain and simple. It took me weeks to convince my friends that raw foods can taste good.
Just like those who were brought up eating only Chinese food might find Swedish food strange, so can many people who eat only cooked foods find a raw food diet odd.
Many times when people make the change from eating a highly processed diet, like fast foods and unnatural sweeteners and flavoring, to a healthy whole foods diet with only natural flavors, they find that it tastes very unusual, but after eating it for a while they find that the processed foods taste strange. As humans, we adjust to what we are exposed to.
Whilst there are still many places that make good raw food for someone who eats a mainly raw foods diet, there are also plenty of places that make it in a way that can appeal to the masses.
Source via www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com
Raw foodists vs. the rest of the world
When raw foods first started catching on, it was often (not always!) a very exclusive movement – you were either in or you were out. If you ate more than 80% raw foods you could consider yourself a raw foodist, but many times cooked foods and heaven help us all, animal products, were frowned upon.
Part of this was because some raw foodists were convinced that raw foods were the healthiest diet on the planet, others were convinced eating animals, or animal products, was wrong. Today there are still many who believe this to be the case, but they accept that other people may have a different view.
A Dessert recipe
1. Carrot cake with cashew cream cheese frosting, pistachios and walnuts by This Rawsome Vegan Life:
Ingredients for the cashew frosting
2 cups cashews, preferably soaked for a couple hours, 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice,2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil,1/3 cup maple syrup,Water, as needed
Ingredients for the cake
2 large carrots, peeled, 1 1/2 cups oat flour or buckwheat flour, 1 cup dates, 1 cup dried pineapple (or more dates), 1/2 cup dried coconut, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in your high-speed blender until smooth, adding as little water as possible., Taste it – mmm.. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Cut the carrots into small chunks.
- Throw all the ingredients (including the carrots) in your food processor and pulse until it’s all in really small pieces and sticks together.
- Assembly: Press half the cake mix into the bottom of an adjustable spring-form pan, mine was about 6 inches.
- Spread on about 1/3 of the frosting.
- Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard.
- Press on the rest of the cake mix. I let it set in the fridge overnight then frosted the whole thing, but you can do it right away if you want.
- Take it out of the pan and use the remaining frosting, cover with whatever garnishes you like.
All Question Answered About The Raw Food Lifestyle
The change in perspective
Many raw foodists who were vegan have acknowledged that switching to a vegetarian raw diet has been better for them, or even essential for their children.
Another thing is that if you are 100% raw all the time and eat cooked foods, you can actually get sick, so people are a bit more lenient with eating it ever so often, so as not to get poisoned if they, at some point, taste something cooked. For many, it’s also easier to stay on a mainly raw food diet if they can have some cooked foods, as it’s easier to feel deprived and fall off the bandwagon altogether if you don’t allow yourself any indulgence at all.
It has also become widely known that being 100% raw is difficult for your social life as you can eat and drink very few of the things offered in restaurants and at friends’. However, if you live in Los Angeles and certain other places it is easier as more people follow a raw food diet. Many raw foodists feel fine with the 80-20 rule though and happily eat whole foods on various occasions.
As curiosity peaked around raw foods and the dogma disappeared, more and more raw restaurants or restaurants offering raw items on the menu open up, so a lot of people try them out and start incorporating raw foods into their diet.
Source via www.earthsprout.com
Diet debates about raw foods
Many people eat raw foods because they believe it’s the healthiest diet. Others argue that eating a little bit of cooked foods with the raw foods is better, as it seems some people actually get sick or lethargic from eating only raw foods. This could be because they don’t know how to balance their diet properly or because their body can’t handle it. No one really knows.
What remains true for most though is that in the beginning, switching to eating a mainly raw foods diet seems to leave people feeling more energized and happier (after about two to four weeks of feeling weird when the body is adjusting and, presumably, detoxing).
The problem is likely to occur if a person keeps eating only raw foods and doesn’t get the balance right, leading the body to become depleted of certain nutrients. The downturn can also be because if you eat raw foods only, you become extremely sensitive to chemicals. Your body is clean so it finds it harder to deal with toxins.
Just like an alcoholic can drink a lot more than the average person, so can a person eating small amounts of toxins withstand them better. A raw foodie can literally get high on eating cacao if he or she doesn’t eat it every day, as the body is so sensitive to stimulants.
Another thing you should know is that if you eat only raw foods, chances are you will experience something akin to euphoria. Many raw foodists report this feeling, which, they say, feels spiritual. This is also the reason some stay on a 100% raw diet.
Often, in the midst of this debate of “raw or not” a few other debates erupt. One is the previously mentioned vegan-vegetarian-pescatarian-omnivore diet debate – which is the healthiest?
The other is the high protein and/or fat diet vs. the high carb diet. In there somewhere is also often mentioned the eating right for your blood type diet and the eating right for your metabolism diet (i.e. don’t mix fruit with other foods, nor carbs with protein as it’s easier for the body to break down various food groups on their own).
Dairy and gluten are also heavily debated in the midst of all this and the Paleo and GAPS diets often mentioned. Then to top it off, some people argue we have adapted through the years to certain foods and you should stick to what your personal ancestors ate.
An Eskimo who is used to living off something like 80% whale meat may not fare well on a vegetarian diet. Like-wise, something like 70% of Scandinavians can break down cow’s milk properly, as opposed to about 30% of Americans (if I understood it right).
A Breakfast recipe
Raw raspberry and vanilla chia seed Pudding by The First Mess
I love eating this for breakfast with lots of fresh fruit. Stir a handful of oats in there and you’ve got yourself a fairly hearty morning meal. Also, this pudding evokes that slippery tapioca-like quality that is either love or hate. Just keep that in mind 🙂
Serves: 5-6 cups (a whole lot)
1 cup raw almonds, soaked at least 5 hours, 4 cups filtered water, 2 cups fresh raspberries (or thawed, frozen ones), ½ cup raw agave nectar/maple syrup/raw honey/etc., 2 tbsp soft extra virgin coconut oil, 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt, ½ cup chia seeds (white or black)
- Combine the soaked almonds, 4 cups of water, raspberries, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla ex-tract and salt in a blender pitcher. Blend mixture on medium-high speed for 1 minute, until liquefied.
- Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve (or nut milk bag if you have one) into a medium-large bowl. At this point you will have sweet, rich, raspberry flavored almond milk, essentially.
- Place the chia seeds into another large bowl. Pour the raspberry almond milk on top slowly. Whisk vigorously to combine and prevent clumping of the chia seeds.
- Allow the mixture to sit for a good hour so that the chia seeds can do their thing and thicken up the mixture to a pudding consistency. I find that the taste and texture are really great after an overnight soak in the fridge. Whisk it up here and there to further prevent clumping of the seeds.
- Serve pudding with fresh raspberries, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, cacao nibs or anything else you like on top.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.
Raw Food Diet and how it affects life expectancy
One day, out of curiosity, when I was being overwhelmed with conflicting ideas about what to eat and what not to eat, I started googling average life expectancy to see if it was lower or higher de-pending on a high meat vs. a big carb (especially grains) intake. I was also curious to see if gluten played any role in it.
Of course, you also have to take into account exposure to chemicals and radiation, as well as civil unrest. Then there is the question of exercise and general fitness, sleep patterns, exposure to enough sunlight, alcohol consumption, smoking, sanitation, access to proper medical help, stress, DNA and a few other things; none of which I have a clue about.
What’s more, we can assume that the people who are 90 today were raised on a mainly organic diet free of processed foods, meaning what people eat today might lead to a very different life expectancy in a few years’ time. Even with these unknown variables, I found it interesting to see if there could be some correla-tion between life expectancy and diet in any way.
The simple ways to incorporate raw foods
- Have a green juice or smoothie in the morning (and then a breakfast snack a few hours later)
- Switch regular cheese for raw cheese, preferably grass-fed (unless you are pregnant)
- Use raw honey or raw agave syrup in your coffee, tea or chocolate instead of regular sugar (or stevia if you have problems with blood sugar, although the taste is peculiar)
- Have a small salad as a starter before every meal
- Swap whatever you are having for lunch for a big salad
- If you eat meats, start eating meats that are rare such as sashimi, gravad lax, or capriccio, as well as seared meats such as tuna, beef and duck
- Switch to a raw protein powder and raw protein bars
- Eat one fruit a day as a snack
- Buy raw chocolate
- Learn to make a few raw desserts and exchange regular treats for raw ice cream, raw chocolate mousse, raw chocolate truffles (blend raw cacao with virgin coconut oil and raw agave or honey) or raw cheesecake
- Instead of peanut butter, use raw nut butters (blend them yourself with a high powered blender, or buy them from natural food stores)
- Have raw instead of cooked snacks, such as crudités and a dip, raw nuts, or raw salad wraps
- Switch your regular bread to sprouted bread (although not raw, at least it was sprouted first).
- If you use a lot of milk, try substituting it sometimes for nut milks, like almond or coconut milk, as well as goat’s milk.
- Fry with coconut oil rather than butter.
- Eat mainly whole grains (i.e. whole grain rather than white breads, rice or white pasta, etc.).
- Try substituting the flours you use when baking for almond and coconut flour in some dishes (check out Paleo blogs for many wheat free recipes) or use gluten free oat flour, as well as buckwheat and quinoa flour.
- Avoid all unnatural preservatives and colorants .
- Use different sweeteners such as raw agave syrup, maple syrup, raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar and, in small amounts, raw cane sugar rather than refined white sugar. If you are worried about blood sugar try stevia and xylithol, but I should warn you that xylitol can cause diarrhea and although naturally occurring in wood, corn and many other plants, when you eat it as a sugar, you get a lot more than you would in its natural form.
- Add some steamed veggies as a side to every meal, you can season them with herbal salt, oil and garlic if you like
Source via www.thefirstmess.com
An easy raw breakfast
Do you like smoothies? In that case you are in for a treat. An easy way to incorporate raw fruit, veggies and berries into your diet is a smoothie. Here’s how to make a great smoothie:
- Pick you base – bananas, frozen mangoes or the meat of young coconuts make for a nice, creamy base.
- Add some berries – add berries of your choosing to create a nice flavor and to add antioxidants.
- Add a handful of greens – curly kale and spinach add very little taste, but a lot of nutrients. Only add a little bit of kale because too much raw kale is not good for you as it affects your thyroid gland. If you have thyroid problems or want to add a bit more, steam it first. You can’t leave a smoothie with greens in it for very long as it will “coagulate” – i.e. it changes in consistency, making it more jelly like.
- Add a protein powder – if you’d like, add a protein powder for extra energy. I love Sun Warriors raw protein blend. Make sure you pick one without sugar! Sometimes I add finely ground almond flour as well, or instead of protein powder.
- Add milk or yoghurt, sour milk or kefir – if you like getting some friendly bacteria, this is the time. Add some yoghurt, kefir or sour milk of your choice (if it’s soy make sure it’s organic). If you choose milk you can make your own nut milk by soaking nuts over night (almonds and cashews are popular) and then blending them in a high-speed blender and using a cheese cloth to get rid of any pieces. You can also buy non-raw and raw nut milks in the shops (watch out for added sugar). Raw dairy milk is available, but make sure you know the source is safe and don’t drink it if you are pregnant.
- Blend it! Many raw foodies use a Vitamix or Blendtec. You can read more about those and the cheapest options here. The reason they use high powered blenders is because you can make your own nut flours, nut milks, soups and various treats, such as raw cheesecake easier. Unlike a normal smoothie maker they can grind dry foods and unlike a regular blender, they can powderize things.
If you want a smoothie that’s a bit of a treat and you have a Vitamix or something similar, blend together the white meat of a young coconut with some of the coconut water, add berries and a bit of raw honey, agave, or maple syrup. Or mix the coconut meat and some of the water with pineapple and a banana to make a virgin Pina colada.
I find that a smoothie, even with protein powder in it, only lasts so long. Within two hours I’m, in-variably, hungry.
At this point, if you want to keep it raw, have some raw granola (available at Whole Foods amongst lose weight foods) with nut milk or yoghurt, or a sandwich made with sprouted bread – I like the type that’s still very gooey in the middle, but there are regular versions as well that are dry (available at Whole Foods and health food stores) – and either raw nut butter, raw cheese (unless you are pregnant) or avocado mixed with lemon and herbal salt.
You could, alternatively, have some chia seed pudding or a raw sandwich wrap (using salad as the “bread”).
Find much more recipes and answers here >The Ultimate Guide to a Raw Food Diet
Also read >RAW FOOD DIETS – WHICH ONE FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE?
BEGIN WITH THE RAW FOOD LIFESTYLE AND ENJOY A HEALTHY DIET
(VIDEO)HOW TO START THE RAW FOOD LIFESTYLE
EATING RAW FOOD IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?