Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
It appears as though spring is here after a very mild winter in Northern California. Can't say that really upsets me much although I am mindful of the need for plenty of water to fill reservoirs and build snow pack in the mountains.
I do hope all of you are enjoying life as much as I am. As the spring foods are showing up in the markets I am enjoying incredible blessings in great health, loving relationships, an abundance of positive influences, and of course all the healthy foods available to support a good life.
In this edition of Vibrant Living I’ve written an article that can be most valuable for anyone trying to improve their health, but perhaps especially important for those following some degree of raw diet since we tend to be more sensitive to out dietary choices over time. There are three new recipes which are very easy to make and ever so tasty. Enjoy!
Most days I’m posting health information, recipes, testimonies, etc on the facebook page of RAW-FOODS-DIET-CENTER.COM, so if you’re interesting in checking that out you can do that
“Do something for somebody everyday for which you don't get paid." ~ Albert Schweitzer
Fine Tuning Your Raw Food Diet for Success
If you’ve been following a raw diet for more than a year or so then I’m willing to bet your diet has changed to some degree over that time. And if it hasn’t changed you may be experiencing tell tale signs that a shift in your diet would lead to better health. Now if you diet is working fine for you and there are no issues, Great, keep doing what you’re doing. I just want to share a little bit about how the raw diet can evolve and may need to be tweaked here and there as your body and its nutritional needs change on the raw path.
It’s funny because just about any raw food diet will work for you in the beginning because it’s all about what you’re leaving out that makes all the difference in how you’re feeling. Over time though as your body begins to clean out and change, your diet may need to be adjusted to keep up with the changes taking place within your body. Now if your real goal is to feel better and to be the healthiest you can be then you should be thankful for the signals your body is sending.
Your body may already be giving you small signals that a change is in order. Perhaps you’re feeling sluggish and not as good as you did when you first “went raw”, or perhaps your meals just don’t carry you long enough and you feel something is missing. Your face may be breaking out on a regular basis, you have an over growth of Candida or nail fungus, cuts and scrapes aren’t healing quickly, or your toes are becoming red and a little sore or even a slight loss of feeling there. If you’ve had a blood test then you may see high triglycerides, fasting glucose, or fasting insulin levels. Now these symptoms can mean many things, but one thing is for sure, your nutritional needs are not being met. It could be excess, deficiency, a need for balance, or a combination of these.
It’s not uncommon for those new to the raw diet to consume large quantities of calories. Whether that’s fruit calories, fat calories, or a combination of both, the caloric intake and composition of the diet may very well need to be modified over time for you to remain healthy. If you have not had a blood test then that may be a good place to start. It could something as simple as a lack of B-12, vitamin D, or essential fatty acids. However, for most, the actual diet and macro nutrient ratio needs refining.
If you’ve simply been over eating then cutting back and not eating meals on top of meals may be the ticket. If your diet consists of large quantities of fat then cutting back on the fat and adding in some more fruit or starchy vegetables to keep up your calories may be just right. If you’re following a high fruit diet and are not a very active athlete, then you may need to cut back on fruit, add in more greens for mineral content, and perhaps some fat to keep up your calories.
The high fruit diet can work for many in the beginning because it is so cleansing, but rebuilding healthy cells requires loads of minerals which we get easily from greens. Once the system is cleansed the high fruit diet can lead to sugar overload and its many associated issues. Now just about everyone loves fruit and would enjoy eating as much fruit as they like, but sometimes the body just can’t handle all the fruit sugar.
People seem to be able to handle different amounts of glucose and fructose, and there are some people like Gretchen who can handle very little fructose now even though she ate an 80-10-10 diet for over two years. She used to eat huge amounts of fruit, but not feel satiated. Probably because she couldn’t access the fructose calories, which on average was approximately 40% to 50% of her caloric intake. I think her diet also lacked enough greens and fat, although she did add more of those in later on.
Usually people that are eating too many fats are able to figure this out on their own because they become lethargic, may develop body odor, and can have zits start to show up. They simply become less attracted to excess fats and naturally lower their consumption. The same can be said for over eating in general; most people will naturally adjust their caloric load to one that suits their level of activity.
Over eating fruit on the other hand is very hard to change for some people because it’s just so darn tasty and such a simple and easy way to eat. For me personally it seems the longer I’m raw the less fruit my body wants. That bums me a little bit because of the reasons I noted above; I love it and it’s just so easy to eat that way. But when I look at the big picture and realize it’s optimal health I’m after, I gladly make changes as needed. So I still enjoy some fruit, mainly in my morning smoothie, and some days a little more as a snack or with another meal. I’ve taken to eating more complex salads with some starchy vegetables to provide the calories lost from lowering my fruit consumption. This all depends of course on my level of activity and caloric needs for the day.
As I alluded to earlier, active athletes are able to eat more fruit than most because their body is processing and burning it for fuel. The people I see that are successful eating a high fruit diet workout daily, sometimes twice a day, sometimes for hours. Most people simply don’t have the time in their day for this level of physical activity. They work, have families, or other obligations that leave time for some moderate exercise only.
If you’re at the point in your health journey where you feel like you need a reset or fresh start, then a water or juice fast can do this for you. I just recently completed a short 9 day water fast followed up by a day and half of juice and green smoothies and it did wonders both in terms of cleansing, and resetting my digestive system. Over the next week with each new juice or food I added into my diet I could tell in a relatively short time how my body liked it.
The other wonderful thing about the cleanse was that my taste buds were reset and everything tastes so amazing now. But I digress, more on the fast another time.
Even as you tweak your diet or make major overhauls I think it’s very important to remember what are in my opinion the four most important rues for eating in a way that promotes GOOD health.
• Chew your food thoroughly. Food must be chewed to a soupy consistency and bathed in saliva before swallowing. Digestion starts in the mouth. Anything less contributes to poor health and digestive issues.
• Allow for complete digestion of food before eating again. Allow plenty of time for your previous meal to leave the stomach before you eat again. This includes even a piece of fruit. In most cases this will be 4 to 5 hours from the completion of your last meal. A small to medium fruit meal may be gone in 2 to 3 hours. If one puts fresh food on top of partially digested food then the entire meal will sit and process until that second meal is ready to go, which could be hours of additional time from what it normally would have taken for either meal alone. This leads to poisoning the digestive tract, the vital organs, and then the entire body.
• Eat only until satiated. At the end of a meal we should feel satiated, but not overly full or stuffed. It’s best to stop eating when you still feel you could eat a little more because it can take 15 minutes for the stretch receptors in the stomach to register the fullness of the stomach. You’ve probably experienced ending a meal and feeling a little hungry still, then ½ an hour later you realize you feel satiated and didn’t need any more food after all. Over eating retards digestion and stresses the body to produce adequate amounts of digestive enzymes and other digestive juices.
• Take your last meal at 6pm and hopefully before that. The body needs to rest and rebuild at night, not digest food. I feel the last meal should be taken no less than 4 hours from the time one will go to bed. If you incorporate this rule into your life you’ll sleep better and wake up more energized in the morning because your body was actually able to heal and regenerate during the night.
In terms of length of time different meals digest for you, well that may vary, but if you start out with lots of time between meals then you can always adjust for a small fruit meal or such. And of course your schedule may not permit you eating more that more hours before bedtime. In such an instance I would recommend making dinner a light meal and having your big meal around mid-day.
At first these rules and even fine tuning your diet can be a bit of a pain, but if the true goal is to enjoy life and be healthy that is a small price to pay. The four rules are pretty much a way of life for me now, and other than rule #1, chew food thoroughly, I never give them much thought. Fine tuning my diet has always rewarded me with better health and the satisfaction that I’m able to be healthy by listening to what my body is telling me.
If you do happen to get overwhelmed I think the important thing to remember is not to throw the baby out with the bath water. That is if you decide your body is asking for some cooked food, don’t go ballistic and start eating loads of cooked crap. Choose healthy cooked choices, like steamed sweet potato, squash, vegetables and grains, not prepared concoctions with sauces and chemicals.
I’ve said before I think 75% to 80% raw (high raw diet) is probably best for most people. The important thing is to be healthy, not to struggle with eating and daily food choices. Your diet should be easy and fulfilling for you. You should enjoy your meals and your body should enjoy your meals. If there is too much stress of any kind in life it’s not good, but in particular our diet should not be a source of stress.
Do the best you can today where you are in your life, and do the same tomorrow and the next day. Never under estimate the power of small consistent change in one’s daily regimen. Weeks, months, and years of small positive changes can carry one to the heights of physical perfection and great health, and at the very least greatly improve your health from where you are today.
I hope I’ve given you food for thought and helpful information that you can use to fine tune your raw food diet for success, whether it consists of 50%, 75%, or 100% raw foods.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
"My refusing to eat meat occasioned inconveniency, and I have been frequently chided for my singularity. But my light repast allows for greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension."
- Benjamin Franklin
This is another take off on Lydia's raw rice recipe which I think turned out really well. I use the same basic ingredients as a base and then let the selection of vegetables at the market and my imagination do the rest.
Raw Spanish Rice
Dates are both a calorically and nutrient dense fruit. They are a tremendous source of minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and calcium. Potassium promotes a healthy nervous system, and helps to balance sodium in the body. Iron is essential for good blood formation and calcium for bone formation and strength. Dates also contain high amounts of antioxidants which neutralize the free radicals in the body that are linked to cancers and other diseases.
Additionally, dates contain many vitamins such as A and C which support good vision and strong immune systems respectively. They also contain vitamins B5, B3, B2, and beta carotene that help in fighting infections and creating overall health. The natural sugars found in the fruit are sucrose, lactose and fructose.
Eight to ten dates in a smoothie can boost your caloric intake and give you energy for the day ahead.
Spinach Salad with Tomato Mango Dressing
I've been on a real spinach tear lately and this is one of my many concoctions. It is so tasty and silky, just an incredible recipe. Enjoy!
Tomato Spinach Soup
FLUORIDE IN YOUR FOOD??
Jeff Green has been an activist in the movement to eliminate a toxic fluoride from your water supply for the past 15 years.
With more than 60 percent of U.S. water supplies currently fluoridated, chances are you're one of the 170 million Americans who drink fluoride on a daily basis.
But fluoridated water is not the sole source of harmful fluoride. Here, the discussion focuses on some of the lesser known sources of fluoride exposure.
While toothpaste and drinking water would appear to be the leading sources of fluoride exposure, probably the most common source of exposure is actually non-organic foods! The reason for this is because of the widespread use of fluoride-based pesticides.
According to Green, non-organic food could account for as much as one-third of the average person's fluoride exposure!
This is important, as many people are under the mistaken assumption that by avoiding fluoridated water, they've eliminated the primary source of fluoride. But if you're still eating conventionally-farmed foods, your fluoride exposure is still likely very high.
Dairy or Greens...You Decide
The countries of the world with the highest dairy consumption have the highest incidence of Osteoporosis, and the countries with the lowest level of dairy consumption have the lowest levels of osteoporosis.
Greens are by far a better choice of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals needed to supply the building blocks of strong healthy bones. And load bearing exercise is the key that actually builds those bones.
Discount Super Foods and Such
Although I believe strongly in a diet comprised mostly of fresh raw foods, I do supplement with super green powders, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, and the occasional dried fruit such as goji berries. If you’re like me you’re always looking for a good deal on quality food whether it’s fresh from the farmers market or purchased online, so I thought I would share with you where I make most of my online purchases.
You may already be aware of the Raw Food World and their “at cost” specials, but if not here you go. When you go to purchase supportive foods like those listed above you can save money and get “at cost” special pricing by going to the link below and clicking on the “at cost” specials tab. This also allows you to save up to 14% on every order of their already good deals. The important thing to remember is that fresh is best and these products are supportive and should not be your mainstay. Enjoy!
The Raw Food World
Continuously Updated Web Pages:
There are a number of new testimonies at the website which I hope you will read and pass on to others when you feel they would benefit. And please feel free to leave your own story if you feel moved to do so.
You need not be 100% raw to share a testimony; the fact is most people on the raw diet are not 100% anyway. Your story may inspire someone else, perhaps from the other side of the globe, to give the raw food diet a try.
Please send me your health questions, they can be submitted anonymously if you prefer, and you may help someone else improve their health and quality life.
Please contact me with other questions, feedback and comments here.
Be Well and Wonderful, Hugh
The contents of my website and my newsletter are gleaned from my experiences and observations, meant only for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice, consultations, or treatment of any kind. I recommend you see your professional health care provider if you suspect you have an illness or disease of any kind. I'm not medically trained, and I would never suggest or imply that I know what is best for someone else's body or overall health, ultimately each of us is the only one who knows what's best for us.
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