- Food and Cooking
Raw Food Diet Plan
Ancient Men Ate Raw Food
Eating a raw food diet plan is the newest thing; well not really, as man only ate raw food until he mastered fire and cooking began. From the beginning of history there have always been people who only ate raw food.
In ancient Greece, Pythagoras founded a philosophical and religious school whose inner circle, known as the ‘Mathematikoi’, were required to be vegetarians. Hippocrates, a student at the school, is considered to be the father of medicine and the Hippocratic oath. He is also famous for saying "Let food be your medicine".
Raw Food History
In 1930, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff at the institute of Clinical Chemistry in Switzerland showed us that our bodies "normal" toxic reaction to eating, know as "Digestive Leukocytosis", occurred only when cooked food was eaten. He proved we have no stress response when we eat purely raw foods.
In 1966, A. Hovannessian published "Raw Eating" in Iran. He had healed his sick child with raw food. He and his son both ate only a raw food diet guided primarily from intuition. His book states that raw food is the proper diet for everyone and cooked food is our biggest health problem.
Cures with Raw Vegetable Diets
In America, Viktoras Kulvinskas was working with Ann Wigmore, discovering what eating raw can do for very ill people. They eventually began curing people of ‘incurable' diseases, by feeding them wheat grass juice, and other raw foods. They opened The Hippocrates Institute in the late 60's, which is still going strong today. Kulvinskas published “Survival into the 21st Century” in 1975.
"The New Raw Energy" by Leslie Kenton, was published in 1984, was widely read. Then, Max Gerson began curing cancer with fresh fruits and vegetables. Next, Juliano pioneered gourmet raw food, opening a restaurant in CA. At this point many chefs started to appear. Chad Sarno, another chef, said his goal was to make raw food tastier, which had really been the problem with the diet catching on despite its health benefits. Another well-known book is Edwarde Howell’s “Enzyme Nutrition”.
What are the benefits of the Raw Food Diet?
- Increased energy
- Improved skin appearance
- Better digestion
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease
Why Raw Food?
People get tired of wheat grass juice, and all raw vegetable and fruits. Today the raw food diet has become much more popular as there are more ways to prepare food. The diet plan is based on unprocessed plant foods, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts, dried fruit and seaweed.
People believe the problem with cooking food is the destruction of the natural enzymes that aid digestion and absorption of food, so food should never be heated above 118 ° as this is the point where protein starts to break down.
Cooking is also thought to diminish the nutritional value and ”life force: of food. At least 75% of the diet must be living or raw, although some say you will see the benefits by even eating just 50% raw.
There are some cooking techniques that may be used for specific foods:
- Sprouting seeds, grains
- Juicing fruit and vegetables
- Soaking nuts and dried fruit
- Dehydrating food
Attributes of Diet
This diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet. Furthermore, it is lower in sodium and higher in potassium; magnesium, foliate, fiber and health promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals. You will probably need a vitamin B supplement just as vegetarians do. Another benefit of this diet is lower cancer and diabetes rates.
There are some helpful pieces of equipment that will be helpful:
- One piece of equipment that can be used is a dehydrator that blows air through food at a temperature of 116°.
- A good quality food processor or chopper saves a lot of time.
- A good juicer is also useful for juicing vegetables are fruits.
- Large glass containers to soak and sprout seeds, grains and beans.
- Mason jars for storing sprouts and other food.
St Augustine, FL Raw Food Restaurant
In St. Augustine, FL, there is a new raw food restaurant, Precious Moment, owned by a woman who had previously been a macrobiotic chef. The restaurant has been a focal point for raw food meetings in that area. Since the owner was primarily on a vegetarian diet she didn’t expect much of a change when she started the raw food diet. She previously had arthritis so bad that she could barely climb up steps, which is no longer a problem with her raw food diet.
They hold food preparation classes and have monthly potluck dinners. There are other people who attend these classes and dinners that have also had dramatic healing with various diseases.
Precious Moment Restaurant
Raw Food Restaurant
Two Diet Recipes from the restaurant
2 cups kale
1 cup blueberries
1 cup water
Puree all ingredients in blender.
Note: This is a basic recipe so any combination of fruit and leafy green vegetables can be used. Adding or subtracting water can adjust thickness.
2 cups walnuts
1-2 tablespoon (namu shoya- a type of soy sauce) to taste
1 tbsp. Olive oil Romaine lettuce leaves, whole
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp coriander
11/4 tsp. Chili powder
Put all the ingredients except the lettuce in a food processor and chop coarsely. Spoon over lettuce.
Note: This is also a basic recipe and can be adjusted in many ways. The walnuts stand for he meat and the lettuce for the shells. Season as you would for tacos. Consider adding cilantro, sun dried tomatoes or avocado.
Tips to Consider Before Trying the Diet
There are some people whom the raw food diet might not be appropriate for, such as:
- Pregnant or nursing women
- People with anemia
- People at risk for osteoporosis –there was a Washington University study that sound people following a raw food diet had lower bone mass, but the bone turnover rates were similar to the group that ate a standard American diet.
Some people do experience a raw food diet detox reaction when they first start a raw food diet, especially if there diet was rich in meat, sugar and caffeine. Mild headaches, nausea and cravings can occur and usually last for several days. This might be a good reason to change to the totally raw diet slowly.
Critics of the raw food diet say while it’s true that some enzymes are inactivated when food is heated, it doesn’t matter because the body uses its own enzymes for digestion. In addition, cooking makes certain phytochemicals easier to absorb, such as beta-carotene in carrots.
Changing your diet to a raw food diet, or at least partially raw will probably improve your health. If you have a serious health condition it is certainly worth consideration. You can try a partially raw diet along the lines of a vegetarian diet but you would have to eliminate meat and milk products completely which vegetarians do.
Not cooking food would be a challenge for many especially in the winter when we like those wonderful soups. There is another consideration as it takes time to grown sprouts and your kitchen would have to be set up for this diet change. I think there is enough information in this hub for your to consider a raw food diet plan.
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© 2011 Pamela Oglesby