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Home / Articles / Features / Feature Articles /  Q: What’s Off Limits on a Raw Food Diet?
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Thursday, April 3,2014

Q: What’s Off Limits on a Raw Food Diet?

By Brigitte Lang  

A: On the road to good health, there are many forks. Some paths, such as vegetarianism or the Mediterranean diet, have considerable science supporting them.

 

Others, such as the vegan or plant-based diet, which eliminates all animal products including eggs and dairy, are winning converts.

And then there´s a new offshoot, the raw vegan diet, which deems cooking to be unnatural and unhealthy. An increasing number of celebrities — most recently, tennis sensation Venus Williams — swear by this diet as the best way to prevent and reverse diseases and to stay young and vital. Testimonials from ordinary folks are endless, boasting advantages along the lines of having more energy, better skin, improved relationships with woodland creatures and so on.

Raw foodism traces back to the late 1800s, when Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a doctor, discovered he could cure his own jaundice by eating raw apples. Thus began a series of experiments testing the effects of raw food on human health, and the diet has continued to evolve. Raw food hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered, or exposed to pesticides or herbicides. It includes fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs in their whole, natural state. Proponents say cooking obliterates most of the vitamins in food and nearly all of the immuneboosting plant nutrients. Most who follow the plan consume only half the calories they would eat on a cooked diet.

How does the Raw Food Diet work?

There are numerous variations of the raw food diet, and you have the power to shape your own. Typically, though, about 75 to 80 percent of what you eat each day will be plant-based foods never heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. (Very few people follow a 100 percent raw diet.)

You’ll eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, and nuts, including cashews, sunflower seeds, and raw almond butter; some foods are marked as raw and sold at grocery stores, while others require home-prep. Other common choices include coldpressed extra-virgin olive oil; raw virgin coconut oil; and raw coconut butter. Freshly-squeezed vegetable juice and herbal tea are also staples.

What’s off-limits?

Anything pasteurized, all processed foods, refined sugars and flours, table salt, and caffeine. Say goodbye to pasta, baked goods, junk food, and most store-bought juices, drinks, and milks. (Homemade juices using fresh fruits and veggies are OK.)

Raw foodies become expert at juicing, blending, dehydrating, sprouting, germinating, cutting, chopping, and rehydrating. A dehydrator, for example, uses low temperatures and a fan to dry out food. My most popular RAW creations are Carrot Cake enticed with a hint of Orange Zest topped with a Creamy Cashew Vanilla Frosting, Moist Decadent Brownies topped with Creamy Fudgy Frosting and Onion Bread Crackers, superbly savory with a flavorful taste.

A very comfortable Raw Foods program is 70% raw with 30% cooked foods. Fresh nuts, seeds, vegetables, seasonings and fruits make up the core of the menu. The emphasis is on fresh raw vegetables and other unprocessed foods seem like a very healthy weight loss program. However, the change from cooked food to raw fruits and vegetables will take some people a while to get used to-- especially if you are like many Americans who rarely eat vegetables, much less raw vegetables.

Proponents of this plan state that a person can begin slowly or go into it "cold-turkey" but that if a person introduces the program gradually, it will take longer to see benefits. Because the diet is such an extreme change for many people, I would recommend changing over gradually to avoid gastro-intestinal problems.

Over weeks and months, you will get addicted to the awesome taste of healthy, raw real food and wonder why you never did it earlier!

Brigitte’s Raw Food & Delicious Delight’s utilizes real food, is gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, raw and delicious. Brigitte products are offered to local establishments in Palm Beach and Broward including Juice & Java Café in Boca, Healthy Bites, Planet Juice and Bee Organics with more locations on the list due to the demand.

For more information call Brigitte’s Raw Food & Delicious Delights at (561) 394-7466 where you can reach Brigitte at the Happy Herald Newspaper headquarters founded in 1995.

Email: BrigittesFood@HappyHerald.com.

Call (561) 394-7466 to schedule a sampling

Consider offering our products in your store.

 

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