Happy 2013 everyone! This is the year of wellness and I’m starting it off right! Once a year I do a raw diet for about a week. This year I decided to bring my (meat loving) Dad along for the cleanse. So here is the low-down on what I think of this cleanse, what I’m doing for mine, and some questions you might have. Be sure to check my recipes section to find the recipes I’ve been creating for this week.
What is a raw food cleanse?
A diet of eating uncooked vegetables and fruits. They usually last anywhere from 3-21 days. Personally I do a 7 day one about once a year. In this diet I incorporate a lot of smoothies, but I don’t juice because I believe you lose a lot of nutrients and fiber in the pulp.
What can I eat?
Any fruits and vegetables that are uncooked (temperatures reach no higher than 118 degrees). There are over 20,000 edible plant species ;)
I typically have a smoothie for breakfast, a large salad for lunch, and a raw “meal” for dinner. With plenty of snacks in between.
What it does:
Helps cleans your body of all that junk it’s been storing up!
Results can vary, but I always feel more energized, my skin clears up, and my tummy always gets super flat! It can also be great for jump starting your diet (or as I like to call them: “lifestyle changes”), you can also increase your sex drive, lose weight, and help prevent and treat disease.
Theory behind eating raw food:
**”According to raw foodists, enyzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we overconsume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated aging, and weight gain.
Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat. Other foods, however, become more healthful after cooking, because the fibrous portion is broken down. For example, cooked tomatoes contain three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
Cooking also promotes the formation of potentially harmful compounds in food during high heat cooking, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines.”
Do people really eat like this forever?
Yup! Remember Carol Alt the supermodel? She swears by the lifestyle and says it’s what’s helping her appear to barely be aging There are a lot of raw foodists that eat like this full time. Although a lot will incorporate vinegars, oils, and salt which I choose to avoid when I do the cleanse. There are also a lot of raw food restaurants popping up everywhere. My favs are Sun Cafe in Studio City and Pure Food and Wine in New York City.
What appliances am I going to need on this diet?
A cutting board, a good knife, and a blender. Other optional appliances I use are my mandolin slicer and food processor. Many chefs also use dehydrators.
I HIGHLY recommend, if you are not already, eating a vegan diet for a couple days before your cleanse. This will ease your body into the cleanse. If you are already vegan, cutting out gluten and processed sugars can be helpful.
Plan ahead and carry a lot of snacks with you! You don’t want to get too hungry. I suggest raw nuts (especially almonds), dried fruit (make sure there is no sugar added!), and fresh fruit.
Eat a variety of food. It will help you from getting bored and it’s important to get nutrients from a wide variety of plants. Most important is to eat a lot of dark leafy greens.
Drink LOTS of water!! It helps carry out all the toxins in your body.
I am NOT a Doctor. These are my opinions and experiences. I recommend doing a lot of your own research before your start any “lifestyle change”.
** Sourced from About.com