In the RAW with the RAW Lifestyle
For the last twenty or so years, I’ve been looking for the ‘magic’ bullet for health and well-being.
As I become older I have developed more health challenges – Type II Diabetes and Fibromyalgia are my greatest challenges – and a stubborn weight that refuses to budge off my hips and belly. The weight has been around since I was a kid!!
I came across the RAW food lifestyle during my many Internet searches. What stuck out for me the most was how healthy all these RAW foodists look. They are lean but not overly skinny, and they have a glow about them. Raw foodists seem to be vibrant and full of energy.
In comparison, I remember growing up and seeing ‘hippies’ and vegetarians back in the 60s and 70s and they looked very sickly and had a greyish hue to their skin. I didn’t spend enough time with them to know what their energy levels were, but it didn’t look like they had much health and vitality to them.
According to Wikipedia, “Raw foodism, or following a raw food diet is the practice of eating only, or mostly, uncooked, unprocessed foods. Depending on the philosophy, or type of lifestyle and results desired, raw food diets may include a selection of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat, and dairy products.
It may also include simply processed foods such as various types of sprouted seeds, cheese, and fermented foods such as yogurts, kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut, but generally not foods that have been pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives.”
I personally am not into eating raw fish or meats. And haven’t become a ‘true,’ one hundred percent raw foodist, but I do try to maintain a lifestyle with over 75% RAW.
There is a certain amount of wiggle room in this RAW food lifestyle, some adherents say the food doesn’t have to be ‘cold,’ just under 114 degrees. So soups and other things can be considered RAW if it hasn’t been heated over 114 degrees.
Types of RAW Lifestyles
Vegans live by a high set of ethics that they base their lifestyle choices on.
Vegans do not believe in eating anything that comes from animals, therefore meat, poultry, eggs, honey, butter, and any form of dairy is out. They generally also avoid wearing clothing made from animals – no furs, no leather, etc.
“A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been heated above 40–49 °C (104–120 °F).”
Raw Animal Food Diets
Included in raw animal food diets are any food that can be eaten raw, such as uncooked, unprocessed raw muscle meats, organ meats, eggs, raw dairy, and aged raw animal foods such as century eggs, fermented meat, fish, shellfish, and kefir, as well as vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts and honey, but in general not raw grains, raw beans, and raw soy. Raw foods included in such diets have not been heated above 40 °C (104 °F). Raw animal foodists believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost a lot of their nutritional value and are less bioavailable. This may or may not be true as it is reported that enzymes, as with other proteins consumed in the diet, are denatured and eventually broken down by the digestive process, making them non-functional.
The Primal Diet consists of fatty meats, organ meats, dairy, honey, minimal fruit and vegetable juices, and coconut products, all raw. A number of traditional aboriginal diets consisted of large quantities of raw meats, organ meats, and berries, including the traditional diet of the Nenets tribe of Siberia and the Inuit people. A lot of Japanese incorporate raw seafood in their dishes such as Sashimi.
Again, no matter what lifestyle you’re on and what lifestyle you are attempting to transition to, it’s always best to take baby steps and implement changes slowly. Something that I read years ago that makes the most sense to me is, ‘it is easier to ADD new habits than it is to get rid of old habits. As you add the ‘good stuff’ the other stuff will slowly fall away.’
See leading Raw foodists here.
For more on the Benefits of a RAW lifestyle click here.
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