Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Junk food

junk foodTry this, just for the heck of it. Once you’ve started incorporating raw foods into your food plans, keep adding them in and reducing the number of cooked and processed foods from your diet. Especially things like fast food, chips, cookies and snacks.

After you’ve done that for awhile, have a junk food day. If you really miss your junk food, or think you do, then plan for it. Make it truly memorable and junk-worthy.
If we were gambling types, we’d be willing to bet a LOT of money that mid-way through your junk food day, you’ll stop.

Once you’ve started incorporating raw foods into your diet, and getting most of your nutrition from them, and stayed with it for at least a week, junk food is just not going to have the same appeal to you. Because now you’re thinking about what you’re putting into your body. And if you really think about what junk food does to your body, all of a sudden it doesn’t look so good.

You know, it just happens naturally. We’ve started eating more and more raw foods in our home, and haven’t been able to touch things like chicken or a hamburger in ages. First of all, we really feel pretty strongly about not eating animals. But have you ever read the warnings about handling chicken that you’ve bought in the grocery store? Or ground meat? It’s recommended that you wash your counters with BLEACH if you’ve prepared meat on them. Now, do you really want to put something in your body that requires BLEACH to clean the germs from it off of surfaces in your home? Nope, when we see chicken now, all we see is germs. And there’s no flavor to it anyway. So why bother?

And other junk food we used to love just doesn’t appeal to us any more. Nachos and cheese? Well, the cheese you use is so processed, it’s nothing but corn syrup and processed cheese and fats and chemicals. We can feel our arteries grinding to a halt just looking at it. We don’t even use dips for our vegetables any more. We really do enjoy the taste of vegetables and fruits all by themselves.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cooked foods on a raw diet

Does moving to a raw foods diet mean never eating hot food again? No, it doesn’t. Sometimes you want something hot. Hot food has always signified comfort for many of us. And on a cold, rainy day, carrot sticks or wheatgrass juice probably won’t cut it for most of us.
Cooked foods on a raw diet
Most raw food, like our bodies, is very perishable. When raw foods are exposed to temperatures above 118 degrees, they start to rapidly break down, just as our bodies would if we had a fever that high. One of the constituents of foods which can break down are enzymes. Enzymes help us digest our food. Enzymes are proteins though, and they have a very specific 3-dimensional structure in space. Once they are heated much above 118 degrees, this structure can change.

Once enzymes are exposed to heat, they are no longer able to provide the function for which they were designed. Cooked foods contribute to chronic illness, because their enzyme content is damaged and thus requires us to make our own enzymes to process the food. The digestion of cooked food uses valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest your food. Digestion of cooked food demands much more energy than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it takes for cooked food.

Eating enzyme-dead foods places a burden on your pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs. Many people gradually impair their pancreas and progressively lose the ability to digest their food after a lifetime of ingesting processed foods.

But you certainly can steam and blanch foods if you want your food at least warm. Use a food thermometer and cook them no higher than 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Up to this temperature, you won’t be doing too much damage to the enzymes in food.

Eat raw up until dinner time

Eat raw up until dinner timeAre you interested in a raw food diet, but don’t think you can do it all the time? You don’t have to, certainly not to start. Many of us are conditioned to think of food as reward and comfort. We look forward to the end of the day, having dinner with our families, or going out to dinner with friends.

Try eating raw foods throughout the day. If you go to work every day, take carrots, apples, grapes or dried fruit with you to munch on. If you usually go out to lunch during the day, try to go places where you can get a salad. If you pack a lunch, include sprouts and fruit with it. Steamed brown rice and vegetables and a little fruit might not sound very interesting, but it’s a good energy lunch. If you’re like many people, those fast food lunches make you want to crawl under your desk and take a nap in the afternoon! They make you sluggish and tired. A lighter lunch of raw foods can keep you energized throughout the day.

The business culture is different these days, and there’s less of a routine than there used to be with a morning “coffee break” and then “lunch hour” and an afternoon “break.” That routine doesn’t work for a lot of people any more, but you can still get hungry during the day. By taking a variety of raw foods with you to work, you can munch periodically during the day. Sometimes it’s better to eat to avoid getting hungry. If we let ourselves go too long until we get ravenous, that’s when it’s easier to make poor food choices. Eating raw foods periodically throughout the day also keeps your metabolism humming along, and keeps your blood sugar at steady levels.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Organic Products and Raw Food Diet

Organic Products and Raw Food Diet
Fortunately for those of us newly interested in eating organic and raw foods, there are lots of products out there. Natural and organic foods used to be found only in natural food stores, and those could be few and far between. While not as ubiquitous as McDonald’s, there ARE many more stand-alone stores. And the grocery chains are catching on too, with more organic selections than ever before. If you don’t see them in your grocery store, just ask. You’re probably not the only person in your neighborhood who’d like to see more of these options.

Many grocery stores now feature sprouts and other living foods in the produce aisle. Of course, if they don’t, there’s nothing easier to grow for yourself than sprouts!

There are also tons of sites on the Web where you can order raw and living foods. Just do a search on raw foods and you’ll come up with a lot of different places to order the foods you’d like to buy. Many of these sites are also full of useful information, to help you learn about eating raw foods, and help educate you on the specific food values.

What else? Experiment with what you like. Take the time to learn a little about what the different nutrients in foods do for you. A few examples:

Cabbage – High in Vitamin C; important for healthy cell function
Shitake mushrooms – contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
Kale – Rich in fiber and helps reduce calorie intake with less hunger. We like that!
Barley – Loaded with niacin, fiber and iron and is important for healthy blood sugar.
Pumpkin – So rich in fiber and vitamins; helps reduce appetite by filling the stomach with indigestible fibers

Vegan and raw food restaurants

Vegan and raw food restaurants
One of life’s great pleasures is going out to eat and trying new restaurants and dishes. This holds true for raw food and vegan restaurants too! There are, believe it or not, more than 5000 natural foods restaurants in the U.S. alone. Predictably many of these restaurants are in major markets and in college towns. You might not live in an area where you can visit a natural foods restaurant regularly, but if you’re traveling, do some research and see where there might be a natural foods place to visit. Here are a few notable restaurants around the country:

Delights of the Garden has gained amazing popularity in Washington, DC, considering that city is a haven of power lunches between lobbyists and the like. It features a cool-looking cafe with raw and cooked vegan favorites.

Arnold’s Way is located outside Philadelphia, PA in the Bucks County town of Lansdale. They have a raw café and also have classes in raw foods preparation.

Au Lac in Fountain Valley, California serves 7-course raw dinners, although you want to call in advance to give the chefs time to prepare.

Café Gratitude has two locations in San Francisco and one in Berkeley.

Quntessence in Manhattan features an all raw menu, all organic, salads, fresh juices, soup, guacamole, essene bread, almond shakes, and more.

Dining in the Raw in Key West, Florida features macrobiotic, vegan and raw foods.

The Organic Garden in Beverly, Massachusetts is a living and raw foods restaurant.

Suzanne’s Vegetarian Bistro in Miami, FL has a daily raw soup on its menu.

Enzyme Express in Anchorage, Alaska is a raw foods restaurant.

Golden Temple in Birmingham, Alabama is a vegetarian restaurant that features a juice bar.

These are just a few raw foods restaurants in some likely (and unlikely!) cities. Many cities have magazines with restaurants listed by categories.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Skin tone drinking water, coconut milk, etc

Skin tone drinking water
The best way to have healthy, glowing skin is to start from the inside out. Eliminating caffeine in the form of coffee and soda is one way to start. Caffeine dehydrates the body and skin. And lack of moisture is a sure way to create lines and wrinkles. It’s also a diuretic, causing increased urine output, again depleting your body and skin of the moisture it needs. We try to combat this with moisturizers, but the better way is to put the moisture INTO your body, not on it.

Drinking pure water, unprocessed fruit juices or coconut milk will give your body and skin the hydration it needs. The colors in fruit juices are the colors of the earth and these colors will reflect themselves in warm and healthy skin tones.

The overall effects of caffeine on your body will manifest themselves in your skin. Heavy caffeine drinkers can experience osteoporosis, headaches, depression, sleeplessness. These can all be reflected in your skin.

When you replace colas, coffee and teas made with boiling water with water, fruit juices “sun tea” and coconut milk, you’ll soon start to feel better and sleep better. Your skin will reflect the good health of all the organs and cells of your body, once you’ve kicked the caffeine habit.
Another reason for drinking pure water, juices and “sun tea” is that when you boil water, you’re releasing oxygen from it. When the body rids itself of toxins, it passes through the skin which is the largest elimination organ. Raw food increases your detoxification rate. Drinking water helps the body rid itself of toxins. Seaweed is high in vitamins and minerals beneficial to the skin and also helps rid the body of toxins.
To achieve a healthy complexion, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of raw food. What goes into your body is reflective in your overall appearance.

Raw food, less water

Raw food less water
When you start eating more raw foods, you may find you’re not as thirsty or don’t need as much water or other beverages as you normally do. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, raw foods, such as raw fruits and vegetables have a higher volume of water in them, so your body is getting the hydration it needs from foods.

This doesn’t mean you should stop drinking water or juices. You don’t want to adopt some of the more radical elements of the raw food trend. First and foremost, listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. If you’re overweight, sluggish, tired, depressed, your body might be telling you to make some dietary changes, and raw foods might be one way to alleviate some physical disorders.

But if you’re overweight and have symptoms of Type II diabetes, overwhelming thirst can be one symptom. When you start consuming more raw foods, with a higher fiber and moisture content, you may start to lose weight, and that can go a long way to reducing your blood sugars.

If you’re not overweight, or don’t have Type II diabetes, you still might find you’re not as thirsty as you normally are. First of all, if you’re drinking water and juices, you’re not consuming caffeine, which is so dehydrating and makes you thirstier. And by not consuming as much in the way of cooked foods or especially highly processed foods, which have astronomical sodium counts, you won’t be as thirsty either.

By consuming more raw, uncooked food, and pure water and fruit juices, you’re putting your body into balance. Keeping sodium to normal levels found in foods means you’ll start to require a more balanced amount of water. Don’t think of this as changing or taking away. Think of it as adding balance, and it will make the process of eating healthier much easier.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Raw Food and Skin Health

Raw Food and Skin Health
What’s the largest organ in your body? It’s your skin! It provides a protective covering for the other organs of the body. It changes to regulate your internal body temperature. And it’s a good indicator of overall health and well-being.

People spend thousands of dollars on skin preparations to make your skin look vibrant and glowing. They’re all topical products – products that we put on top of our skin. But if we spent just a fraction of the money we spend on these preparations on RAW FOODS, we’d begin to see an immediate change in the texture of our skin.

When you eat raw foods, you put more of the essential vitamins and amino acids your body needs into it. You’re also adding moisture – naturally. Raw foods have a much higher moisture content than cooked foods, simply because the cooking process takes out so much essential moisture.

Your skin is a mirror of what’s going on in the rest of your body. And when your organs and blood are fed the nutrition they need to function properly, that shows in your skin. Get your vitamins and moisture from foods like apples and carrots. When you do, then phrases like “inner beauty” and “inner glow” will be applied to YOU. Your skin is what’s presented to the rest of the world and healthy, glowing skin makes the best first impression.

When you start adding raw foods to your diet, things will just naturally fall into place. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. People will react to you more positively. You’ll have so much more energy for your work, your friends, and your family. And this kind of energy is a self-perpetuating thing. You don’t need self-help books and expensive moisturizers and plastic surgery. When your body and skin are getting their essential nutrition with raw, uncooked foods, you’ll look and feel your best, NATURALLY!

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