Cooking, eating and grocery shopping can be a slippery slope sometimes. Products that look great and taste yummy can contain suspicious ingredients, even flat-out toxins to be crass. In the manufacturing process, nutrients are removed and replaced by dodgy chemicals. If you´re curious what´s on the label, it is often written in microscopic letters and in cryptic code, hiding anything from artificial color dyes, chemical preservatives, addictive substances, to believe it or not – even pharmaceuticals.
On an intuitive level, most of us get that these refined food-like products are not what nature intended for us. But eating food raw? Not even cooking it? If that sounds radical I don’t blame you. It certainly did to me when I first heard of the idea. As a classically trained chef, both cooking and eating have always been great pleasures of mine, and I’ve never believed in dieting or making eating miserable.
Thankfully, I soon learned that raw food was nothing like I thought it was. It happened when I first tasted a raw food ’cheese’cake. Its flavor and texture were just as good as any dessert I’ve eaten – perhaps a little creamier, even! I was fascinated. I soon learned that raw food has plenty of other seriously convincing indulgences for the skeptics, including things like pizza, burgers, ice cream, cheese, chocolate, and the list goes on.
And with quality of nutrition, I'd never even heard of before. Contrary to the boxed food-like-products on the supermarket shelves, raw food is unprocessed, unheated, and un-messed with. Using only ingredients produced by mother earth and the elements, raw food is full of life force, enzymes, and vitamins with an uncomparable nutritional zing.
WITH A GAZILLION DIET TRENDS AND FADS EVERYWHERE, HOW CAN I TELL WHAT’S WHAT?
As I said, suffering through restrictive diets and following the latest fads has never been for me. Here’s the thing; the raw food movement is not a fad. It’s actually not even a diet. Raw food is just an invitation to turn towards what makes sense and away from what doesn’t. Eating more the way mother nature intended and taking less dietary advice from corporations - this, my friends is raw food in a nutshell. It’s not about strict rules and restrictions.
There is no need to eat everything raw. Just by adding 50% fresh raw, unprocessed veggies or fruits to your ordinary meals you’re in it for the win. The less processed our food is, the more life force it retains. And when you eat life force you get life force. This is why you feel energetic after eating a fresh salad whereas highly processed food can make you sleepy.
The science shows that eating more fresh vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and prevent certain cancers. And loads of people testify that plant food successfully helped to heal them from these common degenerative conditions.
And for those of us who want to tread a little bit more sustainably on the earth – what’s on our plate affects how we interact with the planet. The nifty little thing is – what’s best for the body is best for our planet too.
In other words, eating more raw, unprocessed plants is a Win, win, win!
Wishing you a whole lifetime of wellness..
Shanti Maria Allen
recipe developer and author