The raw food diet has been around quite a while but when it comes to living a raw food lifestyle there is still some confusion about the type of foods you can consume and how they will benefit your body.
While many start eating a raw food diet to lose weight there are many other benefits that should be considered. Among them is the fact that it can help you live a longer and healthier life.
With today’s busy (on the go) lifestyle and so many prepackaged ready-to-eat foods available the simple truth is that most people eat way too much in the way of processed food. In fact, most of us don’t even stop to think about what we’re putting into our bodies.
A raw food diet simply means consuming food in its natural, unprocessed form. There are many very good reasons why this is a good idea. For example, processing and cooking food can take a large amount of the nutritional value away from the foods we eat.
Do you ever remember hearing your mother or grandmother say “don’t
peel your carrots or potatoes”? They were right! They told you this
because they knew that most of the nutrients are in or just
under the surface of the skin. This holds true for almost all of the fruits and vegetables that we consume, with a few exceptions. We will talk more about those later.
A common misconception is that consuming a raw food diet means
that you can’t eat anything cooked ever again. When in reality it doesn’t mean that at all. You don’t have to eat everything raw. It simply means that at least 75% of the food that you eat should be unprocessed and uncooked.
The mainstay of the diet will consist of eating unprocessed, uncooked, organic, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc.
Did you know that cooking your food not only removes some of the
nutrition, but it also takes away a lot of the flavor?
A raw food diet means eating more the way our healthier and more fit ancestors did. They cooked very little and certainly didn’t cook or process fruits and vegetables. They ate them raw! When you stop to think about eating a raw food diet it only makes sense. It’s how our bodies were meant to consume and process food for nutrition and energy.
There are many benefits to eating a raw food diet, as we will discuss further in future issues. Just keep in mind that when you begin eating a raw food diet you will notice that your metabolism will work better, you will lose excess weight, have more energy and enjoy the benefits of better health.
cooking your food takes away many of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to maintain optimum health.
Did you know that the cooking process alters the chemistry of food,
making it harder to digest?
This alone is a good reason to start eating a raw food diet because you will automatically start feeding your body what it needs when you stop cooking food and start eating it uncooked.
Fact: A raw carrot has much more nutrition than a cooked carrot.
Have you ever seen the commercials on TV for antacids and digestive
aids and wondered why there are so many people with digestive
It’s because we’re putting so much process food into our bodies that aren’t easily digested. Our bodies were designed to process high fiber, high water content fresh produce. When we consume a healthy diet full of these types of natural foods it can literally abolish digestive problems like; acid indigestion, constipation, and irritable bowels, just to name a few.
There’s no doubt that obesity is an epidemic suffered by millions of people around the world. What you may not know is that the overeating and the lack of willpower is not the main cause. The main underlying cause is malnutrition.
Did you know that the diet industry is more profitable than the oil
This is true because of the way that we eat and prepare our food.
Prepackaged, overcooked, and over-processed foods practically
guarantee that we will overeat. Psychologists may say that we overeat because we are missing something or trying to fulfill a need, but the reality is that most of the time our bodies are still hungry, even when we feel full.
Fact: When you start giving your body the nutrients it craves, overeating will cease!
Eating raw foods will boost your metabolism as well. While it takes a little more energy to digest raw foods it’s a healthy process. So, rather than spending energy to rid itself of toxins produced by processed food, the body uses its energy to feed your cells, sending vitamins, fluids, enzymes, and oxygen throughout your body, turning it is to the efficient machine it was designed to be.
Did you know that a starving brain will trigger the thoughts that make you overeat?
Once you begin consuming a raw food diet you will naturally stop
overeating, because your body and brain will no longer be starving for the nutrients they need. Whenever you go to put a bite of food into your mouth just keep in mind that the brain and the rest of your body don’t need quantity; they need quality.
Processed foods and why you should avoid them.
Most people never even consider the effect that eating processed fried food has on their body, let alone what it does to their blood. While I was doing research for this issue I went to Google and did a search for a picture of your blood plasma after a fatty meal and let me tell you it’s not a pretty picture. Healthy blood plasma is supposed to be translucent, but after eating a fatty meal it looks very cloudy.
What most of us don’t realize is that even seemingly healthy processed foods are often loaded with hidden fat, sugar, and sodium. So even though you may think that the healthy prepackaged snacks that you buy in the store are good for you they may be quietly wreaking havoc in your body.
Let me ask you a question, how do you feel after eating a great big
cheeseburger and fries from your favorite fast-food restaurant? Do you feel like you need a nice long nap? It’s no surprise because all of that extra fat drags you down and makes you feel sluggish.
While the thoughts of going on a diet may bring up negative feelings and make you think that you have to give up all of the foods that you love to eat it’s important to consider some of the good things you do.
when you go on a diet.
– You stop eating processed fatty foods.
– You start eating more fruits and vegetables.
– You cut out sodas, sugary beverages and drink more water.
When you do this the end result is increased energy, better brain
function, and less need for sleep. As you may recall me mentioning
before processed, fatty foods are hard for your body to digest.
When you eat them they take an enormous amount of your energy to
consume. When you don’t eat them you don’t use up all your energy
trying to digest them so you have more available for work, play,
exercise, and more!
Many people dread the thought of changing to a healthier raw food diet, but In fact, you don’t have to make drastic changes in your lifestyle to begin feeling the benefits.
All you really have to do is take a good look at what you normally
consume in a day without even thinking about it. Most of us will reach for some chips, drive through a fast-food restaurant, or grab a pizza when we want something in a hurry and not even consider the impact was having on our bodies. But once you realize what you are doing you can make small changes that will help break those habits
One way you can avoid the fast-food trap is to keep healthy snacks
within your reach. Do you remember when you were little and your mom packed your lunch? She always included a piece of fruit and some carrot sticks! Well, just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t do that too. Pack yourself a bag of fresh veggies, apple slices, and some homemade granola to help you get through the day. Your body will thank you for it and reward you with more energy and much more restful sleep.
Be patient, at first grabbing healthy snacks may not seem as appealing as hitting the drive-through or grabbing a Snickers on your way out of the store, but in time you’ll actually crave healthy snacks over those fatty, sugary ones that you’ve grown addicted to. Just give it a try!
The best place to start changing your eating habits is at the grocery store. Whether you have a few pounds to lose or you are at a good healthy weight there are two simple rules that you should keep in mind when you go shopping.
1. Always go shopping with a well-planned list.
2. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry.
This way you won’t walk out of the store with things that you don’t really need and you will be better able to resist the Hershey bars and potato chips.
It’s a good idea to clean out your refrigerator and your cabinets before you go to the store. Be sure to throw out the half-empty bags of snack foods. Put any unopened, processed foods in the donation box at your local grocery store or tuck them away in the back of your cupboard for when company comes to visit.
As for prepackaged microwavable foods, wrap them up in a nice dark
garbage bag and stash them somewhere in the back of your freezer for another day. Remember out of sight is out of mind, at least in the beginning stages of your transformation!
Clean out your crisper drawers, invest in a good juicer, and get
your kitchen ready for an influx of new organic and raw foods. With a few simple tweaks, you can easily transform your kitchen from
processed food prison to a haven of health and wellness for you and
On your initial visit to the grocery store be sure to stock up on dried fruits and nuts for snacking. Load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Buy some grain-fed chicken, fresh fish, and choose only the leanest cuts of beef if you can’t resist red meat.
The key to success when changing to a raw food diet is to make eating this way fun. Try some new recipes and invest in some new kitchen utensils like a salad spinner and the juicer I mentioned earlier. Try using more herbs and spices to jazz things up.
You don’t need to make a huge investment when switching to a raw
food lifestyle, In fact, you even end up saving money by cutting back on processed convenience foods.
When you first start eating raw foods, it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t just about putting something healthy in your mouth. When you’re shopping for your food, make it a visual experience as well. Try to fill your cart up with a variety of fresh foods, wonderful flavors, and beautiful colors.
Did you know that the visual appearance of food is one of the first
stimuli received by your brain before you have even tasted the flavor of the food?
It’s true, the visual appearance of your food can greatly influence the enjoyment of it. That is why it is very important that your food looks appealing on your plate.
It’s a good idea to invest in a juicer so that you can enjoy fresh vegetables and fruit juice. A juicer is much more powerful than an ordinary blender and can easily liquefy foods while retaining much of their nutritional value.
If you don’t have a steamer, invest in one of those too, so you can lightly steam your vegetables. While you are consuming a raw food diet is perfectly acceptable to steam or blanch your fruits and vegetables if you want to eat them warm. Just be careful not to overcook them. Use a food thermometer and cook them no higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t go above this temperature, you won’t cause much damage to the digestive enzymes in food.
You will also want a good set of knives, some chopping tools, and a
mandolin slicer for cutting up your fruits and vegetables really thin. If you want to reduce the time it takes to chop, grate, or grind, a food processor is a good investment as well. You can use it to chop, grate slice, and puree sauces in seconds. It can be a real time saver!
A new cutting board is a good idea as well. You don’t want to use the same cutting board for all your fresh foods that you use to cut up chicken, fish, or other foods. It’s a good idea to have one dedicated especially for your fruits and vegetables.
Storage containers specifically designed to help keep fruits and
vegetables fresh are other things that you will want to consider adding to your kitchen. There are many available at your local discount store or online that can help keep your lettuce crisper and your fruit fresher, so you don’t end up throwing out more than you eat.
When you go shopping for new kitchen tools you will be amazed at how many specialty items you can find to make food preparation and
storage more efficient and fun. so don’t be afraid to splurge on some great new gadgets for your kitchen.
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You should always consult your healthcare provider before starting any diet, fitness, exercise, medical, wellness, or nutrition program. If you’re facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest urgent care center or emergency room.