Monday, June 18, 2007

Raw Myths

There are so many misconceptions that are passed off as truth in the raw food world. I see it all the time. There are many experts out there who have been uncovering these for the good of the general raw interested public. I’d like to take a few that stand out and discuss them.

“Eat whatever you want, as long as it’s raw…anything that is considered raw is healthy.”

No way!

This is so far from the truth.

Some raw meals and recipes contain more salt and fat than a fast food meal. There are many “gourmet” meals that have had all the water dehydrated out of them, and miscombined (fats and sugars), over-salted and spiced, which has left many people who constantly partake in them, confused, unsatisfied and frustrated with their physical and mental results on raw, leaving many giving up the raw food diet.

The error with this myth, is that people are being advised to eat anything they want as long as it’s raw, so that they aren’t hungry, they are encouraged to eat as many pieces of raw pie, pizza, burgers, and raw “treats” etc. as they need to in order to stay raw. They eat practically no fresh fruits or vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This may keep people from eating their old standard cooked diets, but it’s no healthier, and in many cases, far less healthy than what they were eating before.

In addition, the majority of people eating questionably fresh and healthy food, and overloading on raw fats, dehydrated foods and raw gourmet recipes rarely see the results they are looking for.

Truth be told, I haven’t actually witnessed, seen or heard of anyone who has met a health goal eating raw food this way. Please come out of the woodwork if you have! I’d love to know about it!

For the most part, they may feel a small difference in the beginning, as cooked food does take a toll on our bodies, and coming off those denatured and damaging foods initially will give people a small taste of a healthier feeling, but that soon dissipates if the person continues with non-fresh, heavy, dehydrated and/or mixed raw foods day in and day out.

This includes yours truly. I’ve been on and off raw several times, and let me say that eating a wildcard raw diet was the most effective the first time around – but going back on the raw diet with gourmet recipes goodies at every meal gave me no results and actually made me feel just as worn out and tired, if not more, than on cooked.

We have gotten so far away from real raw food, we should really be calling this diet the “Fresh Food Diet”, because the best foods are found in whole, fresh form, ripe and ready to eat, and not mixed up with a bunch of other foods, dehydrated, over spiced and concentrated (as in oils, nut butters, etc.) The very best foods, which should be the center of the diet, are fresh ripe fruits, vegetables, and greens complimented by small amounts nuts and seeds. Instead of making a raw pizza or a raw pie as a meal, the meal should be as many pieces of fruits and vegetables as needed to satisfy a person’s hunger.

Should people starting out on raw ever use gourmet recipes and fractionated processed “raw” foods? Only if necessary. In the beginning, people transitioning to raw may experience cravings for heavier, more complicated and more concentrated foods. But by making those raw recipes an everyday habit, it’s like trading one bad habit for another. The habit of eating unnatural food will never be broken if one never gets used to eating naturally.

You could be thinking: “But I really want to enjoy these gourmet recipes, because I’m not ready to eat that simply, all of the time”.

I hear you. That is a very valid place to be, and you are certainly not alone in those thoughts. You can have the best of both worlds.

Try this tip if you are in that recipe rut!

* Allow yourself just one heavy recipe/meal a day in the beginning, after you have at least 1 piece of fruit before the meal. If you can have more than 1 piece of fruit beforehand, great!

* After a couple of weeks reduce your heavy recipe/meal to 3 times a week for the next week, again make sure you eat at least 1 piece of fruit before the recipe or heavier food. Try not to wait more than a couple of weeks to do this,

* By now you should be comfortable enough to start eating more and more fresh food, but if not, in a month, drop the heavy, gourmet stuff to once a week.


lovemesomefruit! said...

Great blog! I agree 100%.

Azura Skye said...

I agree too - that makes a helluva lot of sense : )

I think it's also quite a bad mindset to go into like 'it's not fair that cooked people get to eat this, I want it too!' Creats a bit of a them and us scenario, then we feel we can induldge in our cakes because they are raw. That must really muck up our minds.
however, I like to experiment with raw food combos, and I have dehydrated stuff once a week. But I know, that I will go onto having more natural fresh foods in the future. A raw pie is a transition food after all : )