The trend and diet where food is only consumed in its natural form, i.e. in the form it grew and matured naturally, is called raw food. This diet is based mainly on vegetal resources - vegetables, fruit, cereals, legumes, seeds, mushrooms, nuts, algae and all plants that can be consumed raw, fresh, sprouted or thermally processed up to 42°-45°C. This temperature allows all the valuable substances to stay in the food. Using higher temperatures to prepare food destroys enzymes which are the pillar of all processes of the human body. If we don't provide these enzymes to our body through food, the body is forced to generate them by itself.
The principle of raw food is to give the body quality foods in their natural form. Thus we supply our body with a sufficient amount of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and many other substances beneficial for out well-being.
As soon as the preparation temperature exceeds 42°C, the live or raw food becomes dead. When consuming cooked foods, the body treats the food as an enemy; it increases the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) in the circulation and fights. This phenomenon is called leucocytosis. So instead of giving us energy and substances necessary for our life, such food burdens the body and tires it.
How We Benefit from Raw Food
Raw food helps maintain basic environment in our body in order to keep it healthy. It gives us sufficient amount of energy and nutrients to detoxify the body naturally. Self-cleansing processes are launched already in case vegetal foods form at least half of our diet. Thanks to raw food, you will be able to do with less hours of sleep and you will still feel fresh and full of energy. In general, so called vitarians tend to be healthier and various illnesses and problems plague them less frequently. Their bodies are more flexible, their muscles are not clogged with waste substances, and therefore vitarians also have a better subjective feeling of perception of their condition and strength.
Raw food does not burden our body and doesn't clog it with substances that tire it and take away its precious energy. Raw food guarantees full diet that provides us with a sufficient amount of all substances we need for a healthy life.
Transitioning to Raw Food
Transitioning from common diet to raw food diet may often be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms triggered by detoxification processes in our body. The body strives to get rid of everything harmful in it and so it may happen that we suddenly find ourselves suffering from headache, rash, fatigue; our untreated health problems may start to manifest acutely, etc. During this time, it is entirely essential to provide sufficient clear potable water to our body that will wash away any harmful substances the body removed. Furthermore, dietary fibre abundant in vegetal diet will help us cleanse our intestines.
In order to avoid these unpleasant detoxification symptoms caused by the transition to raw food, we should change our diet gradually and slowly. We gradually put in more and more fresh ingredients on behalf of animal products and thermally processed products and meals. Don't forget to make your diet colourful! You needn't worry about lack of protein in your diet. Vegetal diet contains 1-2% proteins in average; it also provides a sufficient amount of the respective amino acids to help our body regenerate. By reducing consumption of concentrated animal proteins, we lower risks of lifestyle diseases, whether they be cardiovascular diseases or large intestine cancer.
Many starting vitarians prepare various mixtures of vegetables or fruit to eat and they add nuts, seeds or sprouts and they often add a drop of virgin olive oil, pressed cool. They also frequently prepare their meals to be similar to cooked food, thus satisfying their mental need for old habits.
The biggest concerns of starting vitarians are detoxification symptoms which may sometimes manifest with worsened mood and depressions; another big difficulty in transition is dependence on cooked diet, especially on bread.
The feeling of desire for „real" food usually arrive one week after the transition to raw food. That is also a reason to take the transition slow and form a system for it.
When wanting to become a vitarian, a person starts first gradually omit the following foods from their diet:
- Red meat: we can satisfy the desire for savoury tastes with avocado, olives, nut and and seed pastes. We can also temporarily substitute red meat with sea fish.
- White meat: Also substitutable with avocado, nuts, seeds and unpasteurized olives.
- Cow milk and cheeses: The compromise here is goat milk with is more easily digestible. The avocado paste or hummus are a great choice to replace cheeses.
- Bread: Baked products are acid-forming, so instead of a roll or bread, try very good flax crackers.
- Refined sugar: Sugar is one of the biggest consumer poisons. It is used in production of cakes, sweets, as a sweetener for tea, coffee, sodas and many other. Honey is a perfect substitute for sugar, as it is easily digestible and unlike sugar it gives the body many beneficial substances.
- Sweetened beverages: Not only are these beverages sweetened with artificial sugar, but they also contain chemical additives and supplements that have no place in our stomach.
When starting with raw food, you will also be under a lot of pressure from people around you who will - often without sufficient information on the subject - discourage you from vitarianism. It is therefore important to surround yourself with other vitarians and supporters or other starting vitarians, if you want to continue in this direction.
Ten Tips on How to Do It and Last
- Household full of raw food: The less cooked food you have in your house, the better. Keep your fridge and pantry stacked with raw food - fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. It will increase your chance to reach for healthy raw food than cooked food.
- Begin your day with juice or a smoothie: Begin a new day with a glass of freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice or a smoothie. Try various recipes and mix it up.
- Make your lunch an enjoyable experience: Prepare a nice portion of fresh and visually attractive raw food and enjoy your lunch.
- Rainbow salad for dinner: Prepare a "rainbow salad" of vegetables and fruits of various colours for dinner
- Keep educating yourself: Read and educate yourself in terms of raw food and news, get inspired by new recipes, visit a raw-food restaurant....
- Do not forget movement and exercise: Take up such a type of exercise you enjoy; go bodybuilding, dance, take yoga classes, run - at least 20 minutes a day.
- Gain support and encouragement in a community of other vitarians: Seek out other vitarians or starting vitarians around you, visit biofarms near your hometown, find like-minded people on the Internet. Support and information exchange are important.
- Enjoy rest and quality sleep: Meditate, rest, sleep enough and well and create pleasant healthy conditions for you to live in.
- Eat sufficiently: Your portions of food should be sufficient; you don't want to be hungry or go chasing in the pantry. Your energy is the highest during the night. If you eat sufficiently, you have a higher chance of sticking with raw food diet.
- Like yourself and be your own friend: Be kind to yourself and take good care of your body and soul. Maintain colourful and enjoyable life and diet. Enjoy your vitality gained through your raw diet.
Raw Food Recipes
Green Banana Smoothie
Put half a cup of cold water, a ripe banana and a handful of lettuce leaves into a blender. There are also other variations stated below. Blend everything well and the smoothie is ready.
Instead of lettuce, you may use lamb's lettuce, baby lettuce, Swiss chard, crisphead or Romaine letuce; you may also try a more natural variation containing dandelion and plantain leaves.
If you're making juice for multpiple people, you naturally need to increase the doses. In time, you will master the seasoning, smoothie thickness and mixing to your taste.
Quick Celery Spread
Prepare a half of a celery bulb, roughly half a tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of virgin olive oil, two cloves of garlic and unrefined sea salt. Add also Cashew nuts and hemp seeds to taste to make the spread taste better and more interesting. Let the nuts and seeds soak over night in cold or lukewarm water and strain them into a cup after. Blend them e.g. in a nut blender into a thick pasty matter. Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, a bit of salt and blend again. Use water strained from the nuts and seeds to adjust the thickness. Put the mixture into a bowl and grate the prepared celery bulb finely. Mix everything together and finish the seasoning. Keep the spread in the fridge, consume it by the next day at the latest.
Soup of Red Beets, Carrots and Cashew Nuts
This soup is fast, nutritious and gluten-free, lactose free of various Es and the like. Beetroot contains a lot of iron and potassium, silicon, magnesium, zinc, as well as vitamin C and E, folic acid and other important substances. Furthermore, beetroot supports activities of digestive fluids, liver and gallbladder, detoxifies the body and has anti-tumour effects, purifies the blood, promotes hematopoiesis and metabolism. For one serving of soup, you need one beetroot, three large carrots, a handful of cashew nuts - soaked overnight in water - and herbs for seasoning. You can use must bear garlic, red pepper, etc. We juice the beetroot and carrot and pour the juice into a blender. (The rest of the carrots and beets can be used for spread.) Into a blender, add cashew nuts, a little cold water, add a pinch of unrefined salt, herbs and a mix everything together.
Prepare 5 medium sized tomatoes, half an onion, a bit olive oil and lemon juice, a bit o mint, salt and pepper and several stems of parsley. First cut the tomatoes, chop also both the parsley and onion into small pieces, mix everything together. To prepare the dressing, put all the remaining ingredients together and mix.
Mix three ripe avocados together with a handful of sun-dried tomatoes and a little garlic, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The mixture should be slightly diluted with water. Avocado spread may need to be greased sliced zucchini and seasoned with flavoured seeds on top.
Simple Mango Pudding
We will need two to three ripe bananas and one mango. Peel the mango and blend it together with bananas. To garnish the pudding, we use other fruits, like strawberries cut into quarters, etc.
Prepare one cup of grated zucchini, half of a grated mango, two cups of ground almonds and a crushed orange. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, a teaspoon of cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Process the ingredients (except nuts) into dough and let it solidify half an hour in the refrigerator. Then use your hands to form dough beads that you wrap in walnuts. Form a little pit on top of each ball, dry the cakes in a dryer to max. 35 ° C for 3-4 hours. You can make a variety of fillings, e.g. hazelnut, apple, poppy seed etc. Decorate the cake tops with small fruit.