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What is raw food, anyway?

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What is raw food, anyway? Many people have asked, so I thought I’d give my answers here.

Isn’t raw food just raw fruits and vegetables?

The definition is actually wider than that. Technically, raw food – also called ‘living food’ – is defined as any food that has not been heated to above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius).

This means that you can have lots of prepared dishes – curries, soups etc – that can be technically ‘raw’. They can be completely fresh and juicy, dehydrated till crunchy, or anything in-between. As long as a food hasn’t been heated too much, it’s considered raw.

You can make all kinds of living, vegan and gluten-free goodies: cereals, soups, dips, pickles, curries, crackers, cheeses, chocolates, cookies, ice creams…the list goes on!

The main characteristic of living food is that it retains many of the digestive enzymes that we need to maintain good health, as well as much more of the minerals and vitamins – and therefore the vitality that is ‘built in’ to natural foods.

It’s a bit like eating sprouts versus eating cooked beans: you still get some goodness in cooked food, but the sprouts will have that extra bit of vital life force inside them that has been activated through exposure to water and light to tell the seed ‘OK wake up, it’s time to start becoming a plant’.

And that light energy makes all the difference to our health when we are absorbing it on a regular basis!

Food that is free of inhibitors

Inhibitors are what prevent that bag of lentils in the grocery store from sprouting all over the place, sending shoots down the aisle. The inhibitors tell the lentils (or almonds, or sunflowers, or whatever) not to start growing yet, as they won’t get the water they need in that plastic bag on the shelf.

However once you soak them in a bowl and expose them to the light, they start to sprout because the inhibitors are soaked out and the seeds know it’s OK to start growing.

It sounds kind of strange but it’s true. Imagine what the supermarket would look like without these inhibitors – we’d have plants all over the place!

What foods can you eat on a raw food diet?

Nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, edible flowers, superfoods such as maca and spirulina, seaweeds, natural sweeteners, sprouted beans and grains…all of which can be combined to make the most delectable dishes that go way beyond salads and smoothies!

What are the benefits?

There are many, but the most common include:

  • more energy and vitality
  • smoother skin
  • weight loss or weight gain (yes you can control this)
  • less need for sleep
  • relief from allergies and other issues stemming from food sensitivities
  • improved well-being overall
  • a more positive outlook and attitude

Generally speaking, people find that they don’t get that ‘afternoon slump’ and they feel better and more alive.

It also can really help with detox, and you can feel more ‘connected’ to your own intuition – this alone has been invaluable for me, as anyone who does regular detox can appreciate.

It’s amazing how our mind and emotions can be ‘clogged’ when our bodies are full of excess toxins!

So get out your favorite fruit, veg, nuts, seeds and other goodies, and get ‘uncooking’!

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