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The Raw Diet

A look into the benefits of eating raw.

For the past two weeks I’ve been eating a raw diet. With the exception of two days (I ran a half marathon and decided to eat a piece of fish and some whole grains), I have been following a strict raw regimen and I feel great. With all the raw foods and snacks available at health food stores, it’s been way easier and much more enjoyable than I thought.

Centuries ago in the late 1800s, the benefits of eating raw were realized and made public by a Swiss medical doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, when he cured himself of jaundice by eating raw apples. This encouraged him to conduct experiments into the effects on human health of eating raw fruits and vegetables. His findings led him to open a sanatorium called “Vital Force” and he believed that “people should pattern their lives after the logic determined by nature.” In other words, we should consume what nature gives us without changing its natural chemistry and eat raw!

To break this down a bit, for food to be considered raw or living, it must be unprocessed, raw plant foods that have never be exposed to temperatures over 115°F. Raw foodists believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthy or even harmful to the body. Raw or living foods have natural enzymes, which are essential in building proteins and rebuilding the body. Heating these nutritious foods kills the natural enzymes, leaving toxins behind in the body. It’s believed that these raw foods all have their own natural healing life force, and when we cook them and change their composition this force is depleted. Why would we do this then?

The reason we as a society are consumers of processed and cooked food, is that no one really knows the true benefits of eating a raw diet. When in our lives as young humans are we ever taught about the benefits of eating raw? Unless you are interested in living a healthy lifestyle and are one to seek out ways to change your life and health forever, you would never know about the benefits of eating raw. Nowhere are we taught about this; not on TV, not in advertisements in newspapers or magazines.

Until now. There are so many benefits of eating raw. The raw food diet has helped many people find health in their lives when nothing else did. People can try a myriad of medical doctor prescribed medications or various low-carb, low-fat, etc. diets, but all this does is confuse the body and wind up adding more unnecessary chemicals into your system.

Eating raw is a lifestyle change that could benefit so many different people. If you are sick with a chronic disease, if you are tired more often than not, if you are carrying too much fat and want to lose weight, or if you want to feel some mental clarity, switching to a raw food diet could absolutely be your answer.

The raw food diet has helped anyone who wants healthy levels of blood cholesterol, healthy blood sugar levels, pain-free joints, clear skin and shiny hair, less cellulite and fat, swift weight-loss, immune system boost, sound sleep, higher levels of energy, increased libido, improving all around mood and much more. It seems silly then to not eat a complete or at least 70-85 percent raw diet.

 People whose diets consist of between 70 and 85 percent raw foods have also been shown to experience the amazing benefits of going raw. Of course, 100 percent raw is more powerful, but this tends to be a good starting point for people not used to eating these types of foods.

Now, people have asked me if I'm getting enough nutrients, like proteins and fats. News flash. Where do elephants, horses and buffalo get their protein? From eating plants. Yes, it's true. Plants and vegetables contain plenty of complete proteins that are easier to digest than meats. It takes a tremendous amount of energy for a person's body to digest a piece of meat. It takes the body little to no energy to digest plant proteins.

Plants are natural, animal tissue is not. Furthermore, nuts, seeds and algae have a tremendous amount of proteins. I've been eating tons of hemp seeds, which have a very high amount of protein, by incorporating them in my morning raw smoothie. Paired with spirulina (green algae superfood) and my day is off to a great start. 

Switching to raw is an amazing experience on so many levels. You enjoy food that is so delicious without feeling guilty for eating bad foods. No matter what state you are in when you start, whether you think you are the healthiest person you know or if you have a serious chronic disease, you without a doubt will feel and become healthier in only a short time. You can actually feel it right off the bat in every part of your body, from your brain down to your joints.

Once you start, you will not be able to stop. Trust me. Comparing the way I feel after eating a cooked meal versus eating a complete live meal is like night and day. It feels beyond amazing. My energy level, mood, muscles and joints feel well nourished and alive.

The raw diet is not another health fad; it's not going anywhere. Take my word for it. More and more people are already beginning to get into raw dieting because it makes total sense.  It's where our ancestors began, several hundred thousand years ago.  And on top of it all, the benefits are experienced almost immediately. There is no other diet out there that I even recommend to people; there’s no other diet that has such a remarkable effect on the human body. It’s hard for me to even call this a diet; it’s a lifestyle and an extremely important one.

Jason Messina May 18, 2011 at 09:54 AM
Can you recommend any good books? I'm looking to get started :)
Cara Pescatore May 22, 2011 at 09:05 PM
I just made Live Lasagne from "You Won't Believe it's Vegan" and it turned out great. I make up most of my own recipes tho, but am starting to look for more books. I will follow up with you. If you'd like any recipes or any tips please email me at caralee123@gmail.com. Thanks and good luck!

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