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Vibrant Living, Issue #144 Finding the Right Raw Diet for You & Raw Rec
August 06, 2013
|Greetings Health Seekers,
Welcome to the VIBRANT LIVING NEWSLETTER
Right now, right here where I am, and I hope where you are, life is good. I am enjoying good health, an abundance of good things, loving relationships, and of course the fabulous raw bounty available to us. The longer I live the more it seems I’m able to see what truly matters in life and what is just fluff or distraction. A huge part of my life is dedicated to sharing what I know that has value so others might find and enjoy true health and happiness. And I’m very grateful to you for sharing what you find of value with those you care about. Thank you.
In this issue of Vibrant Living I’ve covered several of the topics that I get the most questions about, which really equate to finding a raw diet that will work for you. I also address the mass of conflicting information floating around today. There are a host of new raw recipes for your enjoyment and rating....And of course some amusing quotes from people more knowledgeable than me. Enjoy!
Many of the questions I get are from people who are trying to adopt the raw diet, but are having one challenge or another. Today I thought I would address several of the many questions I get each week that are also posted in one form or another on the Q & A page of the website.
Many of the questions are from people who want to do the diet successfully. They are either relatively new, or they have been at it for a while, perhaps making several attempts, and they are struggling with maintaining the diet and feeling good.
These are the main points for digestion :
• After asking some questions my advice to these folks is usually to simplify their meal plans. A Food Combining Chart can be very useful in terms of what foods can be comfortably mixed with others to avoid digestive distress.
• Keeping track of calories and carbohydrate, fat, protein ratio with cronometer or a similar program will show you exactly what you’re eating. This program can also be used to track nutrients.
• Another piece of advice I give is good for any type of diet, raw or otherwise, which I find resolves many digestive issues within a day. This little piece of information is one I have been sharing with people for almost two decades with amazing results. The idea is so simple it’s mind boggling, but billions of people around the globe disregard it on a daily basis. The idea is to wait until a meal is completely digested before you take another bite of food. And I mean that literally, not even one bite of food. Depending on the meal this could be four or five hours. Violating this principle will retard digestion, causing all types of digestive distress.
• Drink nothing at least ½ hour before you eat and at least 3 hours after you eat, except for a mouthful of water to rinse your mouth after the meal. Our meals on the raw diet should be very water rich, making our need for water quite a bit less than our cooked food counter parts. If one is doing physical labor or exercising, or just very thirsty, then appropriate water intake is needed, but perhaps short sips if within the 3 hours after a meal.
When a person is young they may be able to violate some of the principles, but that does not mean that harm is not taking place, and over time they will begin to feel the outward signs of digestive distress and premature aging as well.
Getting Enough Calories
Sometimes this is a hard concept for people to understand. Since the meals you ate on a cooked food diet were very calorically dense, it took less volume in your stomach to feel satiated. A healthy raw diet is comprised of produce that is high in fiber but relatively low in calories, so you must eat what looks like very large portions to get enough calories in a day.
This can also be deceiving though. If you look at putting a large head of romaine lettuce into your salad you may think ‘no way’, but if you put that same head into the blender and reduced it to liquid for a green soup or smoothie, you would see it is not nearly as much volume as you thought. This brings up another important point, which is chewing your food completely before swallowing.
The main point here is that you will have to eat more volume, which you will be able to do as you adjust to your new lifestyle. As you probably know by now there are three camps in the established raw food world: the fat camp, the fruit camp, and the “other” camp. Meaning your main source of calories will come from one of these or a combination.
The fat camp promotes eating mainly vegetables, but since they are so calorically low, approximately 100 calories per pound, the main source of calories becomes fat. The fruit camp promotes mainly fruits, which are an average of 300 calories per pound, with some vegetables, and very low fat at about 10% of calories or less. I am in the other camp, believing in a little less fruit, more vegetables, particularly leafy greens, and a little more fat, somewhere between 10 and 15%. In this “other camp” each individual’s ratios may look slightly different depending on what ratio suits them best.
One area of agreement from the high fruit, and high fat, and most of the other camp is that they don’t believe in consuming lots of fat and fruit together as is often found in raw desert recipes. Granted Medjool date halves filled with almond butter are divine, but they are not a staple food and if eaten should be in very small quantities on rare occasions. Ample amounts of fat and fruit together can wreak digestive havoc, and produce low energy and induce blood sugar problems.
I don’t try to follow any ratio, I just know what I need for energy (fruit), what I need to keep me balanced (leafy greens), and how much fat I need to keep me satiated and balanced. In addition, most days I consume some type of green powder as a mineral boost. Often my dinner salad contains cauliflower, carrots, okra and other more calorically dense vegetables that up the calories and help to satiate. My diet has evolved over time and I imagine yours will also.
The issue for most people is finding the sweet spot that works for them. Initially just about any raw diet will work for anyone if they have a strong digestive system. The truth is though that most of us have compromised digestive systems to some degree, which makes following the main points for digestion above important. Digestive enzymes and/or HCL supplementation may be needed for those with very compromised systems.
I myself find that the large green smoothie works well for me in the morning because it has ample calories to carry me for hours and plenty of greens to balance. Fruit by itself, but usually with leafy greens, celery, or cucumber at lunch provides the stamina I need to finish my day. A large green salad with vegetables and a small avocado or some nut or seed dressing for my last meal fulfills my nutritional requirements for the day.
If I don’t feel like eating or am not hungry, I don’t eat. Sometimes I opt for only two meals with green juice in between. At this point I just know what my body wants and that’s what I give it.
You may have to do a little experimenting to see what is right for you at this particular time of your journey. You may find you are eating large amounts of fat because that is what satiates and keeps you going through the days, and that is OK for now. Your body is adjusting from the high fat diet it is used to and this adjustment will pass in time, allowing you to bring your diet back into alignment.
You can find heaps of useful information on the website to guide you on your raw journey. You can also send in questions if you get stuck. If you feel the need for a telephone consultation I provide those as well and you can get more info on the consulting page.
A sensible way to begin is to put a rough raw diet plan together that is feasible for you and that you will commit to. The plan can be as simple as I’m going to eat raw food for two meals a day or I’m going to eat all raw for a month and see how I feel.
When you have your plan, follow it and keep track of how you feel. A journal can be very useful here. When you feel the need, make small adjustments, follow your modified plan, and assess again. In this way you will move more and more into balance. Be open to changing your routine as you progress and as the seasons and your activity level and health change. In the end, you are the only one who can discover the diet that suits you best.
The important thing is starting your journey to greater health. It won’t be any easier tomorrow. Now is the time to take control of your health and through that, your life.
The internet with its various websites and blogging capabilities has been a wonderful thing in many ways, but it is also a double edged sword. For all the good information available, one also has to be aware that there is an equal amount of distorted and false information that if applied can create chaos as any false truth can.
There are so many raw food “experts” today, many of them not even raw or perhaps raw for a relatively short time, whose knowledge is taken from snippets here or there (many of them false) and does not provide a true path for the seeker on the raw journey. I would recommend you don’t follow anyone’s words blindly, including mine.
Look to the people that have been getting good results for a long time on a raw diet and listen, process, and sort through their ideas. See how they feel to you, and if they make sense. Note whom they reference and do a little investigative research on your own if you feel inclined to do so.
It is possible you’ll settle on one or two individuals that you feel good about and agree with most of the time. It’s your health and ultimately you’re the one in charge and responsible for the outcome, so please choose your sources of information carefully.
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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