In today’s blog I thought it might be helpful to address some of the typical questions that I often get asked. People frequently seem intrigued by my raw food lifestyle, so I always welcome questions and comments. I hope you enjoy reading my answers below…
Why have you decided not to eat meat, fish and other animal products such as dairy and eggs?
Well it wasn’t that I actually decided to stop eating meat and animal products, it was more the fact that my body decided to decline meat and fish and then I eventually chose to stop eating eggs and cheese.
Do you also avoid other foods such as sugar, grains, processed foods, legumes, alcohol, and caffeine?
Yes, that’s right. I’ve chosen not to eat certain foods like sugar, grains and processed/refined foods. It is my belief (and my experience) that many of these types of food are very challenging for the body to digest or even recognise, and of course, refined sugar is incredibly damaging to the body and is devoid of healthy nutrients. I also don’t drink any alcohol, coffee, green tea or black tea – I therefore only consume caffeine on the occasions when I treat myself to some raw chocolate!
What exactly do you mean by ‘raw’ food i.e. at what temperature would you no longer consider a foodstuff to be raw?
When I talk about ‘raw food’ I am referring to natural, plant-based foods that are uncooked and unprocessed and are therefore in their natural, whole form. I consider foods that have been heated above 42°C to no longer be raw, and to certainly not be a living food.
What are the main benefits of eating raw, plant-based foods?
The main benefits of eating raw plant-based foods are that most of the information and nutrients stay intact so your body can receive the information that those foods contain. When foods are heated over 42°C some nutrients and all of the enzymes are destroyed. Although the body is able to manufacture many other types of necessary enzymes, these food-based enzymes can only be found intact and living within raw foods. This is why it is so vital to incorporate raw plant-based foods into your daily diet, as these enzymes are absolutely vital to digestion and absorption as well acting as catalysts for other countless processes in the body.
Aren’t raw foods too challenging for the body to digest?
In my experience it depends what I eat. If I eat say hard vegetables like swede and beans for example, then yes. However, if I eat fruit salad and soft leafy greens, then no. In other words, it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you and remember that we are all unique individuals. Digestive capabilities will obviously vary from person to person, and the presence of certain health conditions may mean that certain raw foods need to be left out of your diet. For example, if you suffer from certain thyroid conditions, it is important to exclude raw vegetables that come from the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts – so be sure to do your research before making any changes.
Can your body really get all the necessary nutrients it needs when you only eat raw, plant-based foods?
Again yes, but as is the case with any diet, you need to combine your foods well and choose wisely. Whatever you choose to eat, it is a wise precaution to further support your body through the use of high quality supplements such as those produced by PuraDyme. I use these products personally and can certainly testify to their effectiveness.
Can you honestly say that you don’t get bored with sticking to your raw food lifestyle?
Quite simply, I like what I eat! I change things up with dressings and varied ingredients whilst keeping things fairly simple. I’ve been doing it for so long that there is no cooked food that I crave or miss.
Do you actually feel full-up from eating in this way?
That’s an interesting question because the way I eat means that I don’t feel full up. Instead I feel satisfied, or my body says that’s enough of that, what’s next?
Once you decided to adopt a raw food lifestyle, how quickly did you see the health benefits?
For me, health benefits have been a gradual thing – remember I have been on this journey for many years, but of course everyone’s experience is different. Changing to a raw food lifestyle affected the way I see the world and my consciousness.
Some of your food choices seem very extreme, so how do you manage to eat out?
It can be difficult to eat out, but more raw cafes and restaurants are cropping up now, especially in London.
Within the remit of your chosen raw food lifestyle, what kind of treats do you allow yourself?
As a treat I may eat raw chocolate bars (see those made by ‘The Raw Chocolate Company’ or ‘Ombar’) and sometimes a raw cake such as a raw raspberry cheesecake or a raw chocolate torte (all dairy-free of course!) Also, check out the recipe for a delicious raw carrot and orange cake by my good friend and excellent Raw Chef – Russell James.
I hope this has been a helpful and interesting read guys.
Until next time…
The Raw Builder
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