Sunday, September 18, 2011


Vegetarianism and raw food enthusiasts fall into many different groups with different theories of what kind of natural foods are best. Most vegetarians eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Vegans eat no animal by-products at all, including dairy or eggs. Fruitarians eat primarily fruits. And some vegetarians eat only sprouts.

Sprouts are very nutritious because they contain all the elements a plant needs for life and growth. The endosperm of seed is the storehouse of carbohydrates, protein and oil. When the seed germinates, these become predigested amino acids and natural sugars upon which the plant embryo feeds to grow. This life force we eat is filled with energy which is capable of generating cells of the body and supplying us with new vigor and life. For this reason sprouts can retard the ageing process.

Sprouts contain goodly amounts of male and female hormones, as well, in their most easily assimilated form. Research shows that sprouts are among the highest food in vitamins. They are not only a low cost food but are also tasty and easy to grow. Children and the elderly can make sprouting a profitable hobby. All of us can profit from the boost to health they provide.

Almost any seed, grain or legume can be sprouted though some are tastier than others. You may try mung beans, alfalfa, wheat, peas, fenugreek, chickpeas, radish, fennel, celery seed, etc. These are most readily found in natural food stores. Remember to soak small seeds only for 4 hours and beans for 15 hours. You also can mix these seeds. Get a 2 liter wide-mouth jar and a piece of cheesecloth or old nylon stocking to fasten as a cover with a rubber band. Put seed into the jar as follows:
2 Tsps alfalfa, 2 Tsps radish or fenugreek, 1/4 cup lentils, 1/2 cup mung beans. Soak these seeds for 15 hours and drain the water. Afterwards rinse and drain well twice daily for about 3-5 days. If you wish to make larger amounts of sprouts, so you may share with others, place 2 cups of mixed seed into a large porcelain pot, in the bottom of which holes have been drilled for easy rinsing. Simply place underneath the faucet and rinse morning and evening with warm water. Cover with a plate. The seeds grow beautifully and abundantly in a few days.

Raw only?

Raw Food and Skin Health
A diet is considered a raw food diet if it consists of at least 75% raw, uncooked fruits, vegetables, sprouts, etc. Raw and living foods are believed to contain essential food enzymes (living foods contain a higher enzyme content than cooked foods). The cooking process (i.e., heating foods above 116°F) is thought to destroy food enzymes.

People who follow the raw diet use particular techniques to prepare foods. These include sprouting seeds, grains and beans; soaking nuts and dried fruits; and juicing fruits and vegetables. The only cooking that is allowed is via a dehydrator. This piece of equipment blows hot air through the food but never reaches a temperature higher than 116°F.

Do you have to follow the regimen that strictly? Of course not. But it’s certainly worth it to incorporate some of these techniques and ideas into your diet. If you tend to snack at work, try taking in carrots or apple slices. Many of the bigger grocery stores now offer packaged vegetables or fruits that make it easier to pack them and take them to work. We’re a nation of convenience, and much of the resistance to healthier eating is that it does generally take a little more effort and time to buy and slice fruits and vegetables. Food retailers have been catching on, slowly, and it’s much easier now to get bags of sliced carrots, celery, apples, nuts and raisins.

Of course these aren’t necessarily organic foods, and organic is the better way to go, but we think anything raw is infinitely better than cooked, processed food. If you have the time, do buy organic and slice them yourself. But if you’re in a hurry, and nowhere near a natural food store, then don’t beat yourself up or sabotage your efforts because you can’t do this 100% all the time. That’s not realistic. Anything from the fruit and vegetable aisle is going to be better for you than a potato chip, or worse yet, a french fry!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Many people have heard of juice fasts as a means of detoxifying the body. Followers of a raw foods regimen also include juices as part of their nutrition. Nearly anything can be juiced – fruits and vegetables, primarily. It’s a form of concentrated nutrition. Some raw foodists drink only fresh fruit juices.

In addition, fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of the traditional nutrients. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, etc.) provide a healthy portion of vitamin C. Carrot juice contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. A number of green juices are a good source of vitamin E. Fruit juices are a good source of essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine, and magnesium, which are bound by the plant in a form that is most easily assimilated during digestion.

While fruit and vegetable juices are the most common form of juice, wheatgrass juice has been getting a lot of attention lately because of the denseness of nutrients it contains.
The primary advantage of truly fresh wheatgrass juice - juice made from raw, live, soil-grown wheat grass, is the apparent high level of life force energy that it contains. It is one of the few truly fresh foods available (sprouts are another). The grass is alive and growing right up to the time it is juiced, and hopefully you are drinking it within a few minutes or so of juicing. Most of us get our green veggies from markets, and they were picked days ago and refrigerated - losing vitality the whole time. (It is an even worse situation for fruit, which may be picked weeks before you eat it, and in some cases, held in cold storage for months - losing vitality the whole time.) In contrast, one can grow wheatgrass indoors, and enjoy it when it is truly fresh.

In conclusion, drinking plenty of fresh fruit juices daily will cleanse your system, make you feel completely energized and last but not least, you will look beautiful. People will wonder what you are doing differently!

Raw nourishment

Raw nourishment
You might agree on an intellectual level that eating raw foods is a good idea. But does the thought of abandoning a lifetime of eating habits for the sake of what seems like a good idea seem like more than you can do?

So don’t! That’s silly and the surest way to guarantee you won’t even give a raw foods diet a fighting chance. “Everything in moderation” and we think that applies to even the healthiest notions. It’s not healthy if you won’t do it!

Don’t think of trying a raw foods diet as taking anything AWAY. Try adding them in. We think if you add in things like raw vegetables, sprouts, fruits and juices, you won’t be as hungry and when you’re not hungry, you won’t give into impulsive eating. If you want that steak, or even a McDonald’s hamburger, plan for it and enjoy it. Once you start eating raw foods though, and notice how good you feel on them and how much more energy you have, that hamburger just won’t look as good to you.

You do want to be sure though, that you’re getting enough of the right kinds of nutrition. Eating raw foods doesn’t mean eating only the raw foods you like. Watermelon is good for you, but it’s not enough. The same with most foods. You’ll need to do a little research into which raw foods have the essential proteins, or what combinations of food you need to eat to get enough protein. Raw food eating is intended to nourish your body in a completely different way, but just being raw isn’t enough. You want to do this to be in balance, and you need to balance the raw foods you’re eating for proper nutrition.

One way to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients is to incorporate a new vegetable every week. Buy something you have never heard of, like a “leek”, or “swiss chard.” You will find a whole new world of tastes and textures open up to you. You will feel more and more deterred by fast food. I guarantee it.
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