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Raw Foodism? Anyone?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I am interested in learning about this, as well as picking up some recipes. Can anyone recommend websites or books that are good for a beginner (not too intense lol)? is there anyone here who is a raw foodie that can guide me along my path? Well, at least just offer some good start up advice??

My diet right now is pretty bad, and I am thinking I won't get very far if I just jump right in. How do you start?

post #2 of 43
there are a bunch of good raw food sites with recipes. I would do a google search. You should come up with alot. (Sorry I can't be of more help as I lost all the links I'd saved when my computer crashed recently) There's also a raw section at vegweb.com you could check out.

I at one time got up to about 85% raw. Mostly I ate normal fresh produce,nuts,almonds..oh and avacados were a mainstay. it was really interesting and I felt a much greater connection to the food I would eat at a meal. I am thinking about doing it again down the road. Anyway I started with sprouting then found recipes to experiment with along the way..I also have a cookbook a lady wrote who cured her cancer by going raw! I think the best thing I've ever made/eaten is a raw tacos! very yummy! I also have made essene bread & sun burgers which was super easy..i have always wanted to try making raw crackers too but haven't yet gotten around to it. mostly I would say start small and add new things each week so you don't get too overwhelmed. The best thing about it though is alot less cooking!

HTH and at least gives you some ideas to think about.
post #3 of 43
One way to start is to include raw food at every meal. Even if it's just carrot sticks. Just get into the habit of having it every time you sit down to eat. Making one meal a day a great big salad also helps.

We don't eat all raw, but we do eat raw at each meal. It's amazing how energized I feel after eating a breakfast of raw vegatables or fruit and nuts. We also do a lot of soaked grains in the morning and lightly steamed greens. You couldn't pay me to eat a bowl of cold cereal and milk. It seems like having a really good healthful breakfast sort of sets you up for a good day of eating.

Smoothies can be a good way to get raw foods in. Here's a recipe I use:

1/2 cup yogurt (we use organic goat)
1 cup berries, or other fruit
1 banana (we freeze the "gone by" ones and use in smoothies)
2 tbls chopped greens
1 tsp freshly ground flax seed or nuts
1/4 cup water
post #4 of 43

Raw Foods ?

I'm personally quite interested in a raw foods diet. Or at least trying to do a few 'all raw' meals a week. I know I could live off salads and fruit.

However, I do tend to prefer my vegetables lightly steamed, unless it's carrot sticks or celery, which I like raw.

I have made 'solar oven' foods and they are awesome, so much more flavor!

How do you make 'raw tacos'? and Sun Burgers? They sound good to me! Have a favorite recipe for them?
post #5 of 43

Yay! Raw Foods

the family went RAW a few months ago! fantastic!
the best two books to read are:
nature's first law by david wolfe and others
12 steps to ending your cooked food addiction by victoria boutenko
you can find them online at (i believe) www.naturesfirstlaw.com and definetly at www.rawfamily.com also check out www.living-foods.com and www.thegardendiet.com
the biggest and most profound change i found in my family was emotional. i became less depressed and we all became less prone to angry outbursts. our cooked emotions were washed away. ds doesn't use violence towards others to express anger anymore. dp doesn't throw things when angry. i yell and feel the well of anger less. being in early pregnancy, with the nausea and the exhaustion, it's hard to tell how much better my body feels. the two boyz are always full of energy and LOVE to eat. the cravings are still there but fading in intensity. ds mentions the smell of cooked food and that it smells good but never pitches a fit to have something unraw.
victoria boutenko mentions that unless you go 100% raw you don't absorb 100% of the nutrion from your food. even 99% has only about 10% (though that may be high) of nutrition being absorbed.
most people, like the boutenko family, don't go raw until they have dire/serious health problems. that makes it a little harder for us to explain why we are doing it. some people think it's just another diet/lifestyle choice, like being veg/vegan, or that we are health fanatics (dp may be ). as long as we are happy, healthy and full of life energy, how can raw/natural foods harm us, or be lacking? i would say ds is a fruitarian though he can be coaxed into a salad if there is fruit and some kind of honey dressing.

i was surprised to see this thread ... i have been gone from MDC for awhile and the last time there didn't seem to be anything about raw foodists. i know we are still rare ... even rarer than the mamas here!!!!!
post #6 of 43
There is a raw food thread in Finding Your Tribe. I'll try to find the link.

Out of all the raw books I've read, I really liked Raw Secrets, The Raw Vegan Diet in the Real World by Frederic Patenaude.
His website is www.fredericpatenaude.com.

It is a very common sense approach to raw foodism. No crazy amounts of nuts, or unhealthy raw recipes.

We are about 75 percent raw, we eat mostly fruit, then veggies(mostly salads, some steamed vegetables) and small amounts of nuts and seeds. Our health as a family has drastically improved over our lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. However, since I got pregnant I have included some eggs, which I never thought I would be able to eat again after going vegan.

Another book I highly recommend by a raw foodist is Grain Damage by Dr. Doug Graham.

Raw Kids is really good, too. It's about transitioning kids to a raw diet. I can't remember the author though. Sorry.
post #7 of 43
My good friend who is vegetarian ate only raw foods for 2 years, but she did not thrive on it. She lost her period, her hair fell out, and she got sores in her mouth that she could not get rid of. She was always the picture of health so this was shocking to me when I saw her next (I am in the Bay Area, she is in Los Angeles). She emailed me this article:


(from the same website 3 little birds mentioned) and after a great deal of research she became very disillusioned with eating only raw food. She is back to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian now, and is healthy again. I thought you might be interested.

Take care,
post #8 of 43
If you follow the frederic patenaude link in my post and then go to FAQ's he talks about how he now believes that though a 100 percent raw food diet is good for a detox, few can sustain it indefinately.

Also, after a bit of research I've found that losing one's period, if not the result of poor health, anorexia,etc. can be a sign of health. Animals eating their natural diet do not bleed. They still ovulate and give birth to healthy babies, as many women on a natural diet do. It is a very interesting area of research to me. However, your friend sounds as though she was unhealthy, so it probably wasn't the case for her.

I believe too that there are many different ways of approaching a raw diet. Some are healthier than others.
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
Well, I can say I am not into 'extremes' in any way. I've battled weight issues and food issues my entire life, and I've realized that I personally need to be moderate with food. I can't, and won't, go 100% raw. It dismays me to hear that nothing less that 100% is beneficial, and to be honest I'd probably avoid that resource! (Please don't be offended, Mama2Lennon, I really appreciate your info!!) I don't really have any health problems that are causing me to try this, it's just general 'not as healthy as I'd like to be' kind of stuff.

But, having said that, I am really interested in raw foodism... mostly beyond just eating raw fruits and veggies. I really am excited to try the sunbaked breads, incorporate more sprouted grains into my diet, and try some of those burger and taco type recipes. I am a vegetarian and interested in eating healthier, but not interested in giving myself 'rules' or thinking in terms of 'good and bad foods', if that makes sense?

If I end up doing it 'right' and feeling healthier, I can see myself eating more and more raw. it seems like a natural progression. On the other hand, if I find myself not enjoying it or feeling sicker and sicker (beyond the beginning healing crisis or detoxification), then it won't last very long!

I used to fast periodically - I'd spend 1 day drinking only fresh juice, then 3 days on fresh fruits and some veggies, then more veggies and certain grains. I don't even remember the details, it was a fast I learned about at a healthful eating class I took at a 7th Day Adventist church. Anyhow, my point is, I always felt SO GREAT at the end of these. My skin glowed, I really felt healthy and strong. However, during the fast there was always a stretch of time where I felt awful, very sick and very weak. I'd love so much to do another fast, I feel like that would help alot, but how do you fast when caring for a baby? It doesn't seem like a good idea to deliberately make myself sick and cranky when I am responsible for the little peanut.
post #10 of 43
sorry mamas, I can't find the recipes. the sun burgers were with sprouted sunflower seeds though and the tacos were made using mashed avacados,tomato and some other things I can't remember...they were rolled up in lettuce leaves. I'm thinking I got both recipes online at one of the popular raw sites though if that helps sorry I can't be more help after teasing you all!
post #11 of 43

Found 'em!

Ok it was bugging me to leave you hanging like that..so I did a search and found the recipes! Hope you enjoy these as much as I did! I may just make some of those tacos this week..they were so good even my omni DH liked them! (though he did say they'd be better in a tortilla )


Crunchy Tacos
post #12 of 43
Thank you for the recipes, and that's a great link, I peeked at a few other recipes from there too!

I know they sell 'Essene' Tortillas at my Whole Foods Market, perhaps some of those would be ok to eat with the 'Raw Taco' filling?

Thanks again
post #13 of 43
I agree with 3 little birds -- there are so many ways to approach a raw foods diet -- so many! It's best to listen to your body and do what works best for you in my humble opinion.

My favorite raw food "cook"book is: "The Raw Truth: The Art of Loving Foods" by Jeremy Safron and Renee Underkoffler. I think there is a newer edition out just by Jeremy Safron and Renee has her own newer "cook"book out that I really like, I just can't remember the name.

The most inspiring raw food book I've read is by the Boutenko family...can't remember the name, but it talks of their journey to going raw.

The two easiest books I've found for getting started are David Wolf's book, Natures First Law and Shazzie's book, Detox for Life (I think). Their websites are: www.davidwolf.com and www.shazzie.com.

There are so many ways to incorporate raw foods into your life. Getting more uncooked greens in my diet, by far has made the biggest impact on my overall health and mood.

(And, it is possible to not have your period and still be ovulating...my friend has been a raw foodist for a long time now and does not get her period, but has two beautiful and healthy children just the same.)
post #14 of 43
re: no period
in Primal Mothering by Hygiea Halfmoon she mentions how going raw does alter bleeding quite dramatically. unhealthy cells (cancerous) gather in places that will not kill the body (the heart, the lungs, the brain) immediately but rather gather in other not vital areas (like breasts and uterus). the excessive amount of bleeding and shedding is the result of an excess of unwanted cells and other stuff. my periods changed immediately.

re: weight loss
the Boutenko family at www.rawfamily.com talks about weight loss. victoria, the mother, was very overweight and lost all of her excess weight going raw, not to mention that her family cured all of their illnesses going raw.

it is very hard to come to terms with the idea that cooked food is an addiction. we are used to seeing addicts are druggies, alcoholics, gamblers and the like. even if one says they are addicted to chocolate they do not think they need to heal that addiction, or to recover from it. this is a very contentious issue, i have talked to my family about this and only my mother intuits this. i finally quit smoking this past winter and after a few months i knew i had actually kicked the habit, the smoking was not something that interested me any longer. going through that process (over several years) has shown me a lot about how getting over my addiction to cooked food is the same thing. i always knew that animals and cheese were addictive but i never suspected the same of breads and other "healthy" food items found at the health food store.
about being unhealthy: the only reason someone would be unhealthy, after the initial detoxing (which could take up to four months to complete) would be that they were not following their intuition and really listening to their bodies about what to eat. i think there are a lot of nutrition myths out there and we need to get back in touch with our intuitive selves. lots of people see detoxing as bad, as being sick. victoria boutenko says to embrace the diarhea, embrace the mucous pushing itself out, they are all signs that your body is healing and ridding itself of toxic waste.
I can't say that i don't struggle because i do everyday. since i got pregnant the cravings have been very strong. i know that lots of womyn revert back to cooked foods or animal products when they get pregnant. i think we want so badly to do what is "right" for our growing babies that it's easy for us to fall in to the trap of listening to the "establishment" and eating things that aren't really good for us, nor do they help our babies be healthy. eating from the earth, in it's most natural state, is what is the healthiest thing for humans and for the planet. we have been tricked because our bodies are so amazing that they adapt to anything, even poisonous foods. our lifespan should be around 150, and that includes a healthy old age. we are not living up to our potential. sorry if i sound preachy. when i researched raw foods i felt so lied to, so cheated. it seems like the biggest lie in the universe (except after that we are not all divinity). i know it will gain, though it will take a long time. i see it like other issues on these boards. when we the rest of the world wake up to the importance of long-term breastfeeding, the dangers of vaccinations, the mutilation of circumsion, the beauty of homebirth ....
i'll stop my ranting now!
post #15 of 43

Thnaks for posting that great link to that article arguing the cons of raw food eating. I had just recently become curious about raw eating, and it was really excellent to read an article with someone being brutally honest about the pros and cons. And clearly he had enough experience that he knows of what he speaks. I liked at the end of the article how he said he would like to find just ONE really old raw foods person.

I had the funniest thought: You know how every time you see on television some person being profiled because they have made it to age 115-120 or something and they ask them what did you eat? And they always say something like, "Oh, I ate cheese and steak and drank scotch every day since I was 20," or "I smoked like a chimney and had creme brulee for dessert every night."
post #16 of 43
I really liked your post. I know that cooked foods, especially grains are addictive. If they weren't, I wouldn't have such trouble giving them up.

I really admire those who are able to really listen and know what their bodies need. If an all raw diet is working for someone, I am really supportive of that, because it seems to me to be the most natural diet. I know that my body doesn't NEED eggs during this preg, there are many vegan mama's who go without animal products during pregnancy. I really believe it has been more of a comfort food issue and that I have not been able to really concentrate on other ways to get what my body needs (Im guessing a bit more protein) due to severe morning sickness. Hopefully I'll be back on the wagon soon, as I really felt the best when I was all vegan and mostly raw. And I really think that's the key. How do you feel? If you are eating a raw foods diet and feeling crudding (after detox) then something is wrong. If you are getting sick, something is wrong. I would never assume that what makes me feel the best, is what makes someone else feel great.

Anyway, enough rambling!
post #17 of 43
I really want to "go raw" once my babies have weaned, but I feel it is VERY important to do cleansing before you travel down the raw path. The kind of cleanse where you get the "mucoid plaque" out of your body. And you shouldn't go raw unless you live in a very warm climate.

My friends live by the books from this site www.cleanse.net ... that's where I read the idea that you should cleanse before going raw, so that you can fully integrate the good stuff in raw foods.
post #18 of 43
Originally Posted by StacyL

I liked at the end of the article how he said he would like to find just ONE really old raw foods person.

I had the funniest thought: You know how every time you see on television some person being profiled because they have made it to age 115-120 or something and they ask them what did you eat? And they always say something like, "Oh, I ate cheese and steak and drank scotch every day since I was 20," or "I smoked like a chimney and had creme brulee for dessert every night."
I've often heard smokers say this, I've even heard myself say this when I smoked. Does that mean that smoking is not harmful? Does that mean that smoking doesn't kill us and cause us lots of health problems? Are these over 100's still active and out in the world ... or are they unable to move much and require help from others do to everything?
The reason such a big deal is made when someone lives to over 100 is that it is RARE. Looking at all other mammals and how long their life spans are after the age of maturity, we humans should all be living well past 100, with 120-130 being the average age of death. We have amazing bodies that are built to last us much longer than they do. We are not meant to live out "old age" not able to move or take care of ourselves. We should be fit, healthy and leading active lives in our nineties and beyond.

I do know of a man who is raw and "old". A man randomly showed up at my parents' organic farm. He had been wanting to visit for quite some time. He had some money and was thinking of wanting to help someone out with farming, he missed those days, and since he lives in the city, doesn't have his own farmland. My father suspected he was a vegetarian and when my mother brought subs for dinner (fast food for farmers in the field) he said he couldn't eat it because of the bread. She noticed that all he ate was an apple and a pear all day. The next time they had him over, all he ate was strawberries (in full season). We had just been going raw so she suspected that was what he was doing also. She told him about me and our diet and he was so excited . He has wanted to talk to me, but we haven't connected yet. He has been eating this way long before being raw was out there. He is in his late eighties and very active.
An interesting note: once one has been raw for some time (over a year) the amount of food needed to live and thrive is very small, something like 5 pieces of fruit and a few greens a day. Hard to believe ... but true.
On another point, the thing about raw is that it is not some new fandangled health fad. No one is trying to sell you something in order to be raw. There is no company out there with products to buy. No one who advocates raw is doing so to make money. Farmers win out when more people eat their produce. Yes, there are books and even websites where one can get info on RAW or buy raw foods and accessories but they are not needed. This is not some diet someone invented to make a profit. It is based on the scientific evidence that food heated to over 118F kills enzymes. Each individual food has in it it's own enzymes for digestion. When these are killed, our bodies must use it's own enzymes for digestion. Our enzymes are supposed to be used to fight "foreign invaders" (and no, I do not support George Bush!), germs, illness, dis-ease. We put our bodies through a lot of work by consuming hard to digest foods. Our bodies enzymes are FINITE, we do not get more than we came with, when they are gone they are gone, we cannot get more. The idea behind Nature's First Law is that if we were raw, there would be no illness or dis-ease, as there is none in animals who are truly in the wild.

I'm not actually hopping mad but I will get off the soapbox now.
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
No Mama, keep going! I am finding all of this sooo interesting.

My own gma lived to 96 and was pretty healthy and active til around 91ish. She wasn't a raw fooder, but she ate ALOT of raw food. I think that not having alot of processed foods in their diet, even if they do eat meat and drink whiskey, is probably a contributing factor to the ppl who live to old age.

The one practical problem I am having is that I don't have the equiptment! Almost all the recipes that intrigue me involve food processors or special grinders or juicers. I don't have the money to get that stuff either. It's frustrating. I did buy some 'live' bread (no flour, sprouted grains) and tortillas, and I love them. I may be unclear on things, but I've been eating those with nut butters (are those raw?) and fruits and veggies. So, I guess I am not really raw (I am eating hummus and stuff too), but at least I am eating more raw and healthier.
post #20 of 43
you can make raw hummous just sprout the chick peas... also, do lots of other sprouts... those don't take any equipment... use large glass jars and cheesecloth.
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