Ten years ago, raw food diets were considered crazy and those who prescribed to them were considered the same. Today, however, the benefits of going raw can be seen everywhere. From websites to cookbooks, to full blown raw food gurus, the health food world has gone wild for raw.
What is a raw food diet?
What exactly is a raw food diet? It’s a diet consisting of foods that haven’t been heated past 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature varies within the raw food community). The thought being that the cooking process denatures the active enzymes present in the foods that we eat, and raw foodies claim those very same enzymes are the life force of food. Therefore killing the enzymes with head takes away from the nutrients of the food we put into our bodies.
And over time certain deficiencies begin to present themselves in the form of weight gain, premature aging and digestive problems. Some people believe that pills and traditional treatment options can cure these ailments, but raw foodies believe the key lies in the foods we eat and how we prepare them.
The difficulties of a raw food diet
But the difficulty with raw food diets, for most people, is what to eat. We as a society have become so accustomed to heating and reheating our food with microwaves and ovens, that the thought of overhauling the status quo can be a daunting endeavor.
Meat and poultry, which are a staple in most north American diets, are out of the question as they need to be cooked to certain temperatures to avoid the horrors of salmonella and E.coli. Just as well, many beans and legumes are also considered off limits, unless they are soaked and then sprouted.
Oh yes, raw food diets seem like a lot of work, right? Wrong. Not with the power of juicing and smoothie making!
Both juicing and smoothie making require no cooking and includes many of the approved foods that are found in most raw food diets. We can completely adhere to the requirements that spearhead the raw food movement.
How to start a raw food diet with juicing and smoothies
Perhaps you are interested in the raw food movement but feel that leaving the world of heated food cold turkey (no pun intended) is too tall of an order for you. My advice to you would be to start slow and test the waters.
Start by first having a completely raw breakfast, like a smoothie, then build on that with a raw lunch of gazpacho made from fresh tomato and cucumber juice and their pulp. Ultimately, the key with this diet is in making it work for you.
But one thing that is for certain: fresh juices and smoothies are raw diet-approved and a wonderful way to ease into a raw food lifestyle!