What is Raw Food?
You may be wondering at this point, what is the raw food diet anyway? What does it really consist of? Do you eat raw meat? Etc., etc.
Well, there are actually multiple answers to this question... How about we start with what people generally consider the raw food diet to be.
The raw food diet is generally a live, vegan diet. There are usually no animal products consumed. However, some raw foodies do use honey and other bee products, which are technically from an animal so it is not a strict vegan diet.
There are even some raw foodies who still eat raw dairy, and even some who eat raw meat. I really enjoy the fact that a vegan diet is not only beneficial to my health but helps to heal our planet too, so I would only recommend striving for the vegan version of the raw food diet.
The living portion of this diet means there is still life in every bite. So, for those raw foodies who choose to eat animal products, this portion of their diet is no longer living. The amount of energy and vitality that you receive from food that is alive is vast in comparison to what you receive from dead foods - like meats (even if they are organic and humanely raised), or really dead foods like processed junk.
This also means that your nuts and seeds should be sprouted so that their life force is activated. These foods are in a dormant state in nature until the conditions are right for sprouting and growing into a plant. Many of them also have enzyme inhibitors which means that you will have a hard time digesting them until they are soaked and sprouted anyway. An amazing thing happens once these foods are sprouted... the nutritional content goes way up!
What Foods Do You Eat?
What you would eat on the Raw Food Diet that I recommend would be any fresh, unheated fruits and vegetables and their juices, seaweeds, and some nuts and seeds. You should also keep in mind that you should only be consuming pure water, and enough for you to stay adequately hydrated.
Now, with that said, as you delve into raw foods a little more, you will come to find there are many different philosophies about what we should be eating within the raw food world. Some people think juices are amazing, and some say you should only consume the foods as they come in nature. Some say raw fats are healthy and can be consumed in whatever quantity you wish, and others say to keep your fat content below 10% of your calories. Others love to create beautiful, tasty dishes with lots of seasonings, and others claim these are actually harmful to our bodies.
Right now, there isn't a way that I know of to determine which of the different ways of eating is the best, except for to experiment with yourself.
First off, eating an all raw diet (no matter which variation you like right now) should cleanse you enough to help you truly determine what your body is asking for. And not the kind of "asking" that comes from being deprived of an addictive substance all of a sudden. This will help you to determine which foods are great for you and which ones aren't so amazing.
If you are like me, your life is completely different from one year to the next, and fluctuates often throughout the months. This means your foods will be doing the same. Although I was eating a lot of raw foods one year ago - like I am now, I am eating completely different foods than I was then.
I actually attempted a low-fat version of the raw food diet recently. I felt absolutely amazing and had really great athletic experiences, but I could tell I wasn't ready for this way of eating because after only four days I started binging on all kinds of cooked foods. Not healthy ones either. This binging lasted longer than I am comfortable with (a couple weeks - yikes!). But, this trial helped me to see that I would like to try cutting my fat down, but gradually this time so as not to create such a tremendous swing in the other direction. Give your body time to adjust to any changes you are trying to make.
Keep an open mind as you explore raw foods and pay attention to how your body is feeling. This will be your best judge on what is good for you.
Keep checking back in with this site for delicious raw food recipes and meal plans.