The raw and living food diet: What is it?

People who are proponents of the organic raw and living diet believe we should be eating like out pre-historic ancestors who ate almost an entire raw, vegetarian diet and, when they consumed meat, it was rarely cooked.


[image-1]But there's always a downside to every great idea. If you only ever ate raw foods, how are you going to get those nutrients found in meat and fats? "People who follow organic raw food diets are at risk for vitamin, mineral, and amino acid deficiencies" (Green Living Ideas) Going raw means having to make sure your body is still getting vitamins and minerals, like B-12 (found primarily in meat), iron, zinc, and copper, and compensate for the Omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids you're not eating. Eating a raw diet also means you're running the risk of food-borne illness from undercooked food, foods not held in the "safe zone" (45-140 degrees F), and possibly from consuming raw unpasteurized milk.


[image-2]The bottom line, if you're thinking about subscribing to this way of eating, is making sure it won't adversely affect your health, so check with your doctor before completely switching to it. Why not just try it for a weekend or a few days and see how you feel after that period of time.


Here are some yummy looking raw food recipes I've found from We Like It Raw:


-Soft Corn Tortillas with Spicy "Beans," Avocado-Corn Guacamole and Tomato-Lime Salsa


-BBQ Chicken Fingers


-Raw Ravioli with Sundried Tomato Sage Sauce (pictured at right)


-Pumpkin Cheesecake


-Chocolate Cupcakes


Photo credits: top- "Examining the Raw Diet". ChickAdvisor.com; middle- "Promoting a New Way of 'Life' in Turkey". TreeHugger.com.; bottom- "Raw Ravioli with Sun dried Tomato Sage Sauce". WeLikeItRaw.com 

The Raw/Living Food Diet is actually not some new-fangled crash diet trend. It's been on the organic food scene for awhile and seems to be growing in popularity. So what exactly is it, you ask? It doesn't just mean eating raw veggies all day, there are some stipulations to this way of eating raw and living food.

First of all, yes, the food is raw. The practice actually very close to veganism, except that everything is uncooked or barely cooked: the food cannot be heated above a certain temperature, generally between 92-118 F, or 33-48 C., thus keeping its "raw" state. Raw foodists believe this also keeps all those nutrients and enzymes in the food, enzymes that our bodies need to aid in digestion and metabolic processes. According to this article from Life Extenstion Magazine, "Cooking of food, particularly if heat is prolonged and over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, destroys enzymes in that food, leaving what is commonly consumed by the modern person - an "enzymeless" diet." "Eating food without enzymes makes digestion more difficult, deprives the body of enzymes, and leads to toxicity in the body, and to excess consumption of food, which leads to obesity and to chronic disease." (Green Living Ideas) Those nutrients and enzymes will also naturally detoxify your body, leaving you with clearer skin, lots of energy, and can even help you lose weight.

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