Have you ever heard of a Raw Food Diet?!
December 29, 2014 to January 4th, 2015 I will be taking part in a 7 day raw food challenge. I will be eating only raw foods for those seven days. Sounds hard doesn’t it?
This is why eating raw is an amazing challenge for your mind and body.
I became aware of eating only raw food after reading a book called “12 Steps to Eating Raw”, by Victoria Boutenko. Her family, herself, husband and two children, were deep into suffering from diabetes, obesity, arthritis, arrhythmia, asthma, and many other allergies. Her husband was given two years to live which initiated Victoria to make a change in her families life. She throw out all the food in the cupboards, and fridge except for the fruit, through out the microwave, no more microwave dinners, and they started from scratch. Eating only raw food. Fruits, vegetables and nuts is what they ate for 3 months, at the end of those 3 months their diabetic symptoms were gone and her husband no longer needed surgery to help save his life. It may sound extreme however make extreme changes in ones life often leads to extreme results.
I am not writing this blog to try and convert everyone to being raw eaters, I am just hoping to further educate you on the importance of knowing what you eat and where it comes from. I am a vegan and have been for almost a year and a vegetarian for almost 5, I am taking on the raw food diet for 7 days as a greater challenge for my mind and body. As an ultramarathon runner and endurance athlete maintaing a raw food diet is challenging due to the amount of protein and carbs my body needs to intake, thus why I am only challenging myself to 7 days to begin with.
A raw foodist is someone that eats 75-100% live, nutritionally, dense organic uncooked and unprocessed food and drinks, including live pure water. Cooking food, whether its on a stove top, in the oven or reheating in a microwave actually destroys the natural enzymes and some of the nutrition within the food. The enzymes that grow in food are essential for all the chemical processes in your body, especially for digestion. Heating food cooked above 118 degrees F. causes the chemical changes that create acidic toxins, essentially destroying the enzymes and some of the nutritional value that live within the food.
Eating raw optimizes your health by alkalizing your body. At the rate your elimination system can get rid of the toxins created when you cook, when you eat more cooked food you are consuming acidic toxins faster than your body can eliminate.
There are some ways however to avoid the process of completely destroying the enzymes and nutrients in foods and one way of doing that is to steam cook vegetables for example, juicing fruits and veggies, dehydrating foods (which is a method of air drying food in a dehydrator at a very low temperature) and using a food processor to create dips like hummus, bean, salsas etc. Being creative is a key quality to eating raw or even vegan. Eating raw eliminates foods such as meats, dairy and wheat products while eating vegan also dose not include these items cooking and eating things like sweet potatoes and rice are foods that I eat in mass quantities, emphasizing the difficulty of this raw challenge.
There are pros and cons however to eating raw:
- Clarity within the mind and body
- Let your body run/function as it is (meaning it is not constantly working to fight off toxins)
- Weight loss
- It is good for the eviroment. you are creating less waste, not buying food in packages
- Reach your optimal energy
- Saving money on your grocery bill and eating out
- Help in the elimination of diseases and cancers
- Gain a new perspective and outlook on food and what your put into your body
- Faster grocery shopping trips
- Requires time for food prep, such as using a food processor, juicer and dehydrator
- It’s very challenging most main dishes are cooked or contain a cooked food source
- Less food options
- Difficult to eat out
- Grocery shopping trips more often due to needing fresh foods
- A lack of protein source: meat and eggs
- Power and endurance athletes need/require a lot of nutrients including protein and carbs, raw food might not provide enough options to maintain energy over long periods of activity
From this challenge I hope to gain a fresh sense of clarity in my mind and body. I am not one for new years resolutions however I am hoping to bring myself into 2015 feeling cleansed and renewed. Ready for any new challenges my body dares to take on. I will learn something new as one always does when trying something new.