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Vibrant Living, Issue #135 Timeline for Results on Raw Food Diet & Tips for Winter Smoothies
October 07, 2012
|Greetings Health Seekers,
Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
Well all you fig lovers out there are probably mourning the end of fig season as I am. There may be a few stragglers here and there, but for the most part the good ones are done. I do have a few on my own trees that should be delectable and a nice way to end the season. Of course the good news is that persimmon season is upon us. Just saw the first persimmons of the season at the market last week and look forward to about 4 months of persimmon goodness.
In this issue of Vibrant Living I have an article on when to expect results from the raw diet, a few pointers on winter time smoothies, the nutritional benefits of several foods in season now, and of course several raw recipes for your enjoyment. By the way, I only ever post my own recipes here in the newsletter, but there are a number of recipes posted on the website by raw fooders from around the globe that you can check out anytime you like. Even though the weather is cooling off a little this is still one of my favorite times of year, and I hope wherever you are in the world you’re enjoying the season and the raw food path. Cheers!
“The more severe the pain or illness, the more severe will be the necessary changes. These may involve breaking bad habits, or acquiring some new and better ones.“ ~ Peter McWilliams
Last month I mentioned my love of the Jujube fruit so I thought I would post a picture and note a few of the benefits here today. I put a bunch of bananas alongside the bowl of jujubes to give perspective. The jujube is originally from south Asia with a long history of its use in Chinese medicine. It’s cultivated around the globe today, including the United States. It does have a pretty short season though only being available in the markets for about 6 weeks. Jujubes can be consumed dry though and are wonderful that way.
I remember when my Chinese friend Brian got married, the soup they had at the wedding dinner that evening contained goji berries, some form of exotic mushroom, and jujubes among other things. That was a very interesting time as the Chinese don’t believe in eating much food in its raw state, probably going back centuries because they use night soil (human manure) to fertilize crops. Cooking would be essential to kill of any organisms that might be present.
Since I eat only raw foods, I was not sharing in the meal, but I was in the wedding party and they wanted me present. I didn’t want to be impolite, but did not want to compromise on my diet. Everyone at the table, many not speaking any English at all, was worried that I would starve or waste away if I didn’t eat. I tried to assure everyone that I was fine and would be OK. Near the end of the dinner the waiters brought out an orange for every person. I thought good, I‘ll eat my orange, make everyone happy, and will be part of the dinner. As I started in on my orange everyone passed their orange on to me and I had about 8 oranges for my meal. The table was full of smiling faces with everyone delighted to have been able to contribute and happy to see me joining in.
A little off subject, but a good side note on how to deal with eating raw in social situations. I guess the real message there was that the universe is perfect and everything always works out for the best...and thank God the waiters brought out oranges…lol.
Chinese medicine believes jujubes rejuvenate the liver and spleen making them a very healing and youthing tonic food. It is also though that they improve digestion by their fiber content which increases the uptake of water in the intestines. Studies from western medicine show the phytonutrients and antioxidents to aid digestion, increase stamina stimulate the immune system, protect the liver, calm the nerves, and be an anti-cancer food. Jujubes contain 18 of 24 amino acids (protein), are very high in Vitamin C, and have good amounts of Vitamin B1 and B2, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A. They contain a host of other minerals and nutrients that all contribute to the health giving nature of the fruit. Oh, and did I mention they’re really tasty.
You may be able to find jujubes at your local farmer’s market or even perhaps at your grocery. They can be found online in their dried form as well.
Winter Time Green Smoothies
As we’re moving into the fall months and soon on to winter here in the northern hemisphere, depending on where you live your selection of fresh fruit may be limited. Fresh fruit is always best, but frozen or dried fruits can help fill the void and break the winter time monotony of apples, oranges, and bananas, which are available most places year round. You can easily mix frozen fruit into your green smoothie, perhaps a package of frozen blueberries with several fresh oranges, a banana and a head of romaine. Placing your frozen fruit in the fridge the night before will thaw it nicely for use the next morning. I know many raw fooders are big on frozen bananas in their smoothies, but I like to drink my smoothie as close to room temperature as I can get and fresh bananas are available year round so I would prefer to eat them fresh. Perhaps when starting out you’d freeze them because they were over ripening, but after a short while on the raw diet your fruit management skills will become quite honed so that you’re able to buy and rotate fruits to perfect ripeness without freezing or losing any to spoilage. But to each their own, it’s all about works best for you and what you like; it’s your raw food diet, not mine.
Dried fruit is another option. Dates, raisins, apricots, and mangos are a few dried fruits that can liven up a winter smoothie. Remember to soak your dried fruit over night, unless for example the dates are quite fresh and moist already. Dried fruits are available at most markets and online, but be sure the ones you purchase are not sulfated or treated in any other way. Of course then we get into the issue of the temperature they were dried at etc. Sun drying is acceptable in the raw food community as well as those dried below 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw food websites such as the raw food world will tell you about the products you’re interested in and you can always email if you have other questions.
I know there are freeze dried fruits on the market now, but I am a bit leery of these because it seems that they are much further away from their natural state to me. It could be that my apprehension is simply my lack of knowledge about them, but for now I will pass on them.
If possible always try to have a least some fresh fruit in the smoothie, but once again frozen or dried is much better than none at all.
Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family, like kale and broccoli. It is available all year long in markets, but like all cruciferous vegetables is exceptionally good during the cooler months when it grows best. It contains phytonutrients like sulforaphane indole-3-carbinol which among other things have been linked to lower risk of certain cancers like cervical, bladder, colon, ovarian, breast, and prostate. One cup of raw cauliflower contains only 26 calories and the following percentages of recommended daily requirements (RDA):
• Vitamin C……………86%
• Vitamin K……………21%
• Choline……………….11 %
• Vitamin B6…………..10%
• Fiber…………………….8½ %
• Manganese………….8½ %
• Vitamin B5……………7%
• Phosphorus………….5 %
• Vitamin B2……………3½ %
• Vitamin B1……………3%
• Iron………………………2½ %
All this in only one cup and 26 calories, and as raw fooders it would not be uncommon for us to consume 3 or 4 cups of cauliflower in a day. Do keep in mind though for those with thyroid issues that as with all cruciferous vegetables cauliflower contains goitrogens which can suppress thyroid function if eaten in excess. More on
“Like any other living, growing thing, love requires effort to keep it healthy.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Sometimes I get questions like this. “I’ve been following the raw food diet for 4 weeks now. When will I start to feel good?” My first thought is, I have no idea. It depends on so many things: past diet, age, health history, current health issues, the make-up of your “raw food diet”, etc. The main crux of the question is how toxic you are, and what health issues you have. Typically the older we are, the longer we’ve been eating crap and the longer it may take to get to doing spinning back flips and running marathons. But seriously, each individual is different and has different health issues to overcome, although it’s all basically about detoxing the body and building healthy new cells, and the raw food diet allows us to do just that. Over time…how much time…who knows. Your body is the only one who knows, and that’s why you hear so often “listen to your body.”
What I can tell you is usually people, regardless of their past history, begin to feel better within a week of following a healthy raw food diet. And I say healthy because your new raw food diet has to be less toxic than the one you left behind. A raw diet loaded with fat, gourmet recipes, dehydrated food or even healthy foods eaten to access, meal on top of meal, may be just as compromising to your health as the typical sad diet. I met a fellow years ago who learned I was on a raw diet and said oh yeah I tried that. I said you must have felt great. His response was not really I put on a lot of weight. I was stunned. He said yeah we sat around and mostly ate dates and nut butters…..Well Duh! Hardly any greens or healthy food in his diet, hardly any exercise, but he had the gall to say the raw diet didn’t work for him. If one is consuming plenty of fresh raw ripe organic fruits and vegetables with a large amount of leafy greens or their juices, then one can’t help but start to clean out.
That’s what it’s all about, easing the burden on the body so the body can clean out and heal itself with the superior building blocks you’ve provided. The raw diet will do this for you, and if you want to expedite the issue there are several ways to do that. One is green smoothies. The blended meal is easier for your body to digest so less energy goes to digestion and more to cleaning house. Another way is juicing. This is easier yet on the digestive system and provides minerals for buffering toxins and building healthy new cells. The ultimate way to speed up the cleansing is a water fast, but one must be particularly careful with this if their body is burdened with years of toxicity. A short one, two or three day fast could probably be done by most people if they are in good health, but I would not recommend any more than that to start with unless you are supervised by a professional.
My personal favorite for those who feel they might be pretty toxic, or just don’t want to endure too much grief, is a mixture of green smoothies and green juices. One way is to have a predominantly green juice in the morning, another about an hour before lunch when you have your large green smoothie, and then two or more green juices later in the afternoon and early evening if you want. You can have a salad for dinner instead of a green juice if you’re really wanting something solid or feeling poorly. The solid food will slow down the detox, just don’t consume a lot of fat with that salad or you’ll undo your earlier good work. If you do this for 2 days over the weekend then return to a mix of green smoothies, juices and solid food during the week you’ll be on the fast track to cleaning out and becoming healthier.
Of course here’s the disclaimer….it’s quite possible that you may have a cleansing episode, also known as a healing crisis, as you body is so enjoying the ease of digestion that it starts shoveling out the toxic material at warp speed and you end up with flu like symptoms. This is actually a good thing, that is unless you’re at work or trying to function as a parent or need to be all together for other reasons. Most people will experience this sometime, and perhaps many times along their journey back to optimal health. It could be no more than the flu several times a year, but you’ll know it’s house cleaning, which is really what the flu is anyway (dumping toxins), because between these episodes you will be healing issues and feeling better and stronger as time passes and the cleansing episodes will become fewer until there are none. I say none, but a future green juice fast or water fast will clean deeper and you’ll feel that discomfort again, but once again will feel a boost in your health afterwards.
So, back to the original question of “how long will it take to see results from the raw food diet?” Should be within a week if you’re eating healthy, but only your body knows for sure.
Listed below are recently added recipes to the website. Tasty, quick, easy, and HEALTHY!
“When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be.” ~ Molly Wizenberg
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!
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.
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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