Does it take a lot of time?
It takes some planning but what is simpler or better than making a meal of fruit? In addition you will have so much energy after the detox period that you will do it easily. I used to think I didn’t have enough energy at night to boil pasta, now I potter in the kitchen till 11pm.
Does it cost more?
Maybe but it is my belief that on raw organic food, once we have the balance right, we don’t require vitamins and supplements. The nutrition in the food is not destroyed by heat or processing and our absorption is better because of the enzymes in the food and our body is not creating a defence mechanism to the food ingested. After all vitamins are for the most part synthetic and produced for profit rather than for the benefit of humanity. Your body will tell you when you no longer need them and they are EXPENSIVE! In addition if you are honest about how much you spend eating out or on “treats” I don’t believe at the end of the day it is more expensive. If you count what you spend on food as everything that goes in the mouth over a week instead of just what goes in the supermarket trolley. You won’t need to spend money on the outside to feel good, you will feel good anyway.
If you can forage or grow backyard lemons and produce, sprout seeds and grow you baby greens even, you can substantially reduce this. I could not eat this much food in a week. If you refer to the raw vegan food and nutrient sheet in my upcoming book, you will see that all essential nutrients are covered.
Working in an organic shop I found the bills are only high when processed food and “treats” are added in. Jars of raw nut butter and coconut oil aren’t cheap but you won’t be buying them every week. During transition you may still use your superfoods but after time, I also believe these are no longer necessary and are often flown in over long distances and so not economical in terms of green miles.
I now experiment with making my own “superfoods”. I dehydrate organic citrus skins and grind them up for vitamin C powder. I include the peel of any foods I feel I can as we all know that much of the nutrients are stored just below the skin and when you are using organic produce why waste any of it. When I juice or eat apples, it is pips and all. Apple pips contain small amounts of laetrile or B17, the anticancer vitamin. When I juice celery I use the leaves too. Much green house emission is from wasted decomposing foods, when you know you are using organic it becomes the treasured resource that it is. Don’t waste it. With you own dehydrator dry excess produce that comes at you from any direction and that you have left over. Use up the extra space in it when it is on.
What equipment do I need?
The best equipment is a Vitamix (expensive), a food processor, and perhaps a dehydrator with thermostat (fits into microwave space). You can use a normal blender until it conks out, any food processor will do and you can build a simple solar dryer with a window frame, a bit of wood & some insect mesh or shade cloth. I met a girl who was using the inside of her car! Maybe a bit hot unless in the shade, but still effective & bug proof.
Does it have to be organic?
To be honest I cured myself with nonorganic food as I really didn’t feel I could afford organic at the time. But if we eat organic we benefit everybody on earth. I feel eating raw will solve our problems for now but if we don’t take care of the earth, nothing may save us in the end. So do your children and the next generation as well as yourself a favour, help those who can’t help themselves and eat organic.
Do I need to go 100%?
This is an individual choice of course. The more rawfood you have in your diet the healthier you will be. Many leading alternative cancer treatment specialists recommend 70-80% Raw Organic Food. I say why wait till you have cancer?
I was told if you go 80% you get back 80% but if you go 100% you get back 1000% and that has been my experience. At the same time I don’t like to navel gaze about the “rawness” of particular brands of things, do what you can, as with most things it is about balance and intent within reason. Better to set your own parameters, how much raw can you manage on an ongoing basis and stick with that than jump back and forward.
Is it for everybody?
It is not recommended to transition to rawfood if pregnant or breast feeding as the placenta and breast milk are routes of elimination for the body. Otherwise it is my belief that it is for everyone. It doesn’t fit with Chinese medicine principles or many other ancient and respected ways of doing things diet wise but it works. Gabriel Cousins, a pioneer of the current rawfood trend suggests that the Ayruvedic doshas can suggest some minor alterations to the raw diet to suit individual types. I believe also that food combining and the blood type diet has something to offer here, particularly if we are coming from a point of disease or lowered vitality. But I am O blood type and should be a meat eater but feel 20 years younger with six times the energy on this raw vegan diet? Eating meat made me totally acidic and very unwell! Yes, with minor adjustments I believe it is for everyone.
Don’t mistake detox symptoms for signs that your body can’t handle it. This can include mucous, headaches and flu like symptoms. Don’t let a misguided but well meaning natural or orthodox practitioner convince you that this way of eating is not right for your ‘type’. If your body is detoxing, then your body needs this but do it as gently as possible (see section on transitioning). The detox period will depend on your age, exposure to various toxins and whatever you have thrown at your body up till now, as in alcohol, tobacco, drugs, caffeine, processed, refined foods etc and your emotional state, as in how toxic is your life?
Invite your practitioner (politely from me) to go raw for two weeks. Most would not have tried it, even the naturopaths. If they still think there is nothing in it, fair enough. So, yes it is for everyone so if you want a reason not to do it, you will have to find another one!
What about enemas and colonics?
One of the largest organs for detoxification in the body is the liver. As well as decommissioning endogenous substances such as hormones, it has to deal with every toxin and poison we dump into our systems. That includes food additives, medication, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, saturated fats. Symptoms of an overloaded liver are nausea, especially around fatty foods, food sensitivities, sensitivity to perfumes and other smells, anger, constipation, PMS and PMT amongst others.
When we transition to an all raw or predominantly raw diet we are asking the liver to cope with even more toxins as they are released from our fat cells and even bones. A couple of enemas a week in the early stages can really help minimise detox symptoms. If you can’t face that then a good colonics session every other week or so will help. If you are in Perth, try Sue Munro at The Rejuvenation Centre in West Leederville.
What about sprouting
Sprouts are great and it is worth purchasing a book just on this subject. Sprouts are live food, that’s even better than raw food.
I grow sunflower sprouts in a pot of soil in the courtyard. I sprout buckwheat in plastic trays. I sprout alfalfa in the larger biosnacky sprouter but not on the blotting paper supplied but with plastic fly mesh in the bottom instead. I sprout mung beans, fenugreek and lentils in Onya weigh bags which I hang at the kitchen window and dunk into a bowl of water twice a day. I use wheatgrass but I do purchase this. Though I juice and freeze what I can’t get through and then use the wheatgrass ice cubes in my juice. This is just what has worked for me as many people have trouble growing sprouts. All seeds need to be soaked before sprouting, usually this is overnight.
What is good food combining?
According to Fred Bisci PhD Nutriton and rawfooder for 40 years, the correct order of consumption is most liquid food to most concentrated in any meal. So if you have juice or smoothie, have that first, then fruit or soup, then salad, then nuts or seeds. It follows that the more liquid foods will naturally pass through the digestive system first as they are already in a semi digested liquid state. The more concentrated foods will take longer as they will need to be broken down to a similarly liquid state to be absorbed by the body. If we were to consume the other way around our fruit sits and ferments while our digestive system wrestles with the heavy nut based pie we just ate, causing, bloating and gas.
On a raw diet, there is not much else to it. Grains are pretty much out of the equation anyway. Greens and fruit combine well but root vegetables are starchy and can be eaten with greens but not with fruit and greens. So have nuts and greens or fruit and greens or root vegetables and greens or sprouts and greens. Then you combining will be optimal and you’ll be getting enough greens as well. If you try to limit concentrated foods such as nuts or seeds or dried fruit or high fat foods, eg avocado to only one type per meal, your digestion will thank you for it.
Why do I get bloating and gas?
Remember in transitioning to raw, the whole bowel flora changes so follow good food combining. Stick to three meals a day as much as possible and drink your water in between to “flush” the stomach and not dilute digestive enzymes. Try to stop eating after dark. Have you biggest meal in the middle of the day. Try eating with clean hands (increases enzymatic activity). Give things a chance to settle down. Eat really lightly like a green juice fast for a week or so. Don’t jump backwards and forwards to raw and cooked, this just prolongs the adjustment period and is very confusing for the body. Better to set parameters and stick with them or go 100% raw and stay 100% raw.
Why do I feel unwell?
Nausea, mucous, flu like symptoms, aches and pains, fatigue, this is called DETOX. Don’t be scared of it, your body is doing it’s best, learn to trust it. Drink lots of water (2-3 litres a day) to flush the system. Eat lots of green plant fibre foods to bind and eliminate toxins. Keep the diet light. Rest, light exercise, colonics and enemas and green juice fasting will help. These are the things that help through detox. A herbal tonic prior to the transition will help.
Why do I cry everytime I eat all raw foods?
This is emotional detox. Don’t be scared of it. Better out than in (see Emotional Detox) and life will be so much better on the other side. I can prescribe flower essences to help, refer you to a good mind body therapist or you may know one yourself. Let it out! It doesn’t serve you anymore, you no longer need it! Don’t be afraid to fly.
What will I tell my friends and family?
Most accept the idea of a detox now. Someone said recently, to tell them you are going on an eight week detox. At the end of the eight weeks, tell them you are feeling so great that you have decided to extend it to three months. At the end of the three months, you should be well and truly through emotional detox and feeling strong and in you power. Tell them that you have decided to stay eating this way but that at the end of two years you will reassess and if you are not feeling fantastic, you will consider reintroducing some cooked food.
Failing this, strike a bargain, I won’t talk to you about raw food and you don’t talk to me about cooked.
Raw food Karen
“Paint a portrait of life to be proud of that could not be sold for all the money on earth. Hang that portrait in your mind and understand its ever presence. Reflect on every brush stroke that makes all the mountains and valleys and rivers and skies the most beautiful in the land. Share your portrait with others but beware their brushes. Select only those whose brush will add to the beauty and structure of your masterpiece.” Chris Ensor