I feel that the best place to start is to talk about what raw food actually is. Responses I get when I tell people that I eat raw food include ‘you mean sushi?’ or ‘do you just eat salads?’ I suspect that many people think of raw food as quite a limited and restrictive way of eating. It is true that when following the raw food lifestyle, meat, wheat, dairy and refined sugar tend not present in the diet, but the idea that a raw food lifestyle is restrictive could not be further from the truth. There are a vast array of nourishing and wonderful foods that can be enjoyed, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and grains and huge versatility and creativity are involved in the preparation and assembly of raw food dishes.
Raw foods are defined as any food that has not been heated above a certain temperature, around 45°C, as above this temperature, vital enzymes in the food are destroyed. These enzymes carry out many important functions, such as helping to digest food, producing substances important for healthy cell functioning and helping transport of substances and nutrients around the body. Without the enzymes present, these important functions cannot be carried out as effectively and the body also needs to expend more energy producing the enzymes that were not present in the food.
I enjoy eating raw food, as it doesn’t feel to me that there is the same sort of restrictions as there are with so many other diets. It feels like more of a lifestyle choice. For me a big part of eating should be about enjoyment and attributing positive memories to our dining experiences. I challenge any of you to look back on positive memories in your life and I bet a lot of them were centred around eating and enjoyment of food. There are a huge variety of different ways in which raw food can be made. I will be posting blog posts in the coming weeks and months outlining techniques, tips and recipes that I have learnt and how you can use them to simply and easily prepare raw food dishes that are tasty, nourishing and satisfying.
Eating raw foods have had a massive positive impact on my health, including increased energy and focus, improved digestion, better skin, more consistent moods and highly reduced incidence of illness. At this point I would like to stress that I am not advocating anyone to move to a totally raw food diet, either straight away or at any point. Raw food has had enormous benefits for me, but it was not an overnight success. For me, and I suspect, for the vast majority of us, our bodies to a greater or lesser extent, have a level of toxicity, accumulated over years of poor eating habits. So it may be the case that even someone starts eating super healthily, they may not be seeing the benefits of this, as their ability to assimilate some or all of these nutrients may be impaired. I will talk more in an upcoming article about what can be done to naturally cleanse the body and how this can have huge positive impact on health and wellbeing.
I am running a series of Raw Food workshops focusing on different cuisines from around the world. Starting this Friday 21st September in Queens Park, London from 7-10pm. Join me for an educational and delicious journey into raw Italian cuisine.
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