I’ve been experimenting with some raw food days for a few months and then decided to go raw for the weekend. Thought this would go really well with a raw food course I did with Chris on Sunday. Now it’s Tuesday and I’m still on it and can’t seem to stop! And so is Chris. Neither of us expected this!
First of all, raw food is a bit weird when you eat it first. Preparations consists of blending, chopping, juicing, freezing and dehydrating. Or just eat things as they are. The ingredients range from your everyday fresh/raw things such as fresh fruit, fresh cut up veg, avocado, nuts and seeds, oils and dried fruits. Then there are the less well known, more specialty ingredients that are both costly and unusual to deal with: lucuma powder (fruit), coconut oil, raw cacao products, mesquite etc. Some of these are not particularly essential, though coconut and cacao are amazingly rich, nutritious and nourishing additions. They can also provide a lot of calories that makes up for the lack of these in fruit and veg.
For purists nothing ever goes over 44 C, either in preparation or in the presentation of the ingredient. So out goes canned coconut milk (though I still use it), cocoa powder (which is heat treated and therefore loses a lot of nutrients) and canned tomatoes. Of course you are also not allowed any grains, sugar, condiments, processed food, meat, dairy and even beans and potatoes that require cooking to be digestable.
However, there are some easy fun additions such as the raw coconut and its flesh and water. The diet is essentially vegan, but this is a social construction, as is the whole diet, of course. I think raw fish could easily be consumed with the other raw ingredients, and I certainly do so myself.
I’m already noticing some interesting effects: my digestive system works differently, my hunger is quite different (I get neither very hungry nor very full), my energy is quite stable and comfy, my taste and smell have become sharper, I don’t have cravings like I thought I would. There is also a lot of investment: in terms of time, money and effort. I enjoy looking at food and my body from a very different angle.
To top it off I have noticed improvements in several illnesses and symptoms and some of these are amazing. I suggest this isn’t placebo as I was neither expecting them nor was believeing in this possibility. This is very exciting. I have the feeling it’s not so much the raw food, but the additional ingredients of raw cacao and coconut oil that do the trick.
I certainly have no desire to either be a purist or to go 100% raw as many people have done so. I generally recoil from fads and religious adherence to anything and I dislike radicalism of all sorts. I do see raw food as a lovely change though, a bit like fasting that can be done occasionally, and I’m certainly learning new things about my body and food preparation. I also want to find out whether coconut and cacao are creating the awesome effects I’m observing in my symptoms, and how I can add these to my normal diet.
Now back to work and my delicious raw gazpacho soup… mmm