One of my readers commented that he didn’t understand some of the things I was discussing in my posts. I realize that I should probably explain in more details about some of the big topics like raw/vegan foods. So, let’s start at the very beginning.
First, I want to preface that I understand that each person’s biochemistry is unique and each person must work out their own diet to suit their life goals, life style, genetic predisposition and current state of health. This is what I do with my health coaching clients. I help them to find the balanced diet and lifestyle that allows them to meet their highest potential. There is no single, one, all-encompassing, correct diet. BUT there are some general guidelines that allow for overall health for everyone (Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a balance of protein and carbohydrates, and keeping the amount of sugar, dairy, alcohol, and coffee to a healthy balance.)
Some diets are great for certain periods in our lives, and I have chosen to “go raw” for this trip while I am getting more in-tune with myself, detoxing physically, emotionally, mentally as I’m traveling. And I feel GREAT! So, I want to share what it’s all about.
What IS vegan??? In the simplest definition it means eating plant-based foods rather than product or by-product of animals (no meat, dairy, eggs, etc. Some argue against honey as well, but I love honey and bees!)
There are a lot of people looking at vegan as a fad diet and bizarre sub-culture and others who live it as a hardcore lifestyle. I like to eat vegan/raw because of a number of reasons, mainly how good it makes me feel. It can definitely be argued that if you pour love and energy into anything you eat it will literally be better for you & your body. But on top of that, raw foods offer all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are inherent in natural plant based food. When we cook food over a certain temperature (most agree it’s about 115 degrees F) these important nutrients and minerals are killed or cooked out of the food. So, while you’re eating cooked broccoli, you’re not really getting the full benefit of all the goodness and live energy in the plant. It’s simple and it makes sense.
It doesn’t mean that everything you eat MUST be raw. But there are SO many benefits to eating raw. Let me just tell you, I’ve been raw on and off for a month or so at a time, through different periods of my life, and I’ve always noticed positive changes my attitude, energy, and awareness. I already feel an immense different in my energy, the softness and clarity of my skin, I’ve lost a little weight, and the biggest difference is in my mood.
You are what you eat. Without high-stress foods, I feel less stress in my body. Living food, minus inflammatory agents like sugar and processed flours, allows my body to regulate itself more efficiently. My mood is more stable, I literally have more patience and energy with myself, and others.
I’ve always had a sweet-tooth, but I’m finding that I’m not even craving sugar, and if I do want something sweet, I’m loving trail mixes with craisins, raisins, coconut, walnuts, almonds, cacao. YUM! There is so much delicious food you can eat while being raw.
Here’s a basic breakdown YES foods:
– Seeds & Nuts (Walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, chia, flax, sunflower, etc)
– Whole grains (soaked & sprouted is best! Quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.)
– Sea Vegetables (Seaweed, nori, dulse, arame, kelp, etc)
If you’re new to raw foods, this may sound like not a lot of options, but it includes SO many delicious foods!
Here are some examples of LIVE/RAW foods we’ve eaten on this trip, so far:
A yummy raw meal we made for one of our couchsurfing hosts: Kelp pasta (you can buy the noodles at any grocery store and we made a simple sauce out of high quality olive oil, fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, and some seasonings. Grounding salad (We used root vegetables: beet & daikon radish, beet greens, kale, and some green onions). Apple slices with cashew butter. And for dessert, we had fresh figs, cacao nibs, and goji berries.
It is really joyful and fun to make raw foods, because honestly, you can’t go wrong. You can’t actually burn anything. Just follow the basics of food combining (A balance of salty, sweet, acids, and fats = YUM on your tongue!) High quality ingredients and a little creativity go a long way, and make preparing food more fun. You can follow some recipes in the beginning stages if you like, but the truth is raw eating can be as simple or complex as you want.
For more information on raw foods check out some of these links:
Buffalo has a couple meetup groups focused on vegan & raw foods. I host a vegan meetup at merge once a month. But while I’m out-of-town, I left it up to the group to schedule another meetup, so there may not be one until I’m home, again.
The Buffalo Live Meetup Community is really growing and a great way to get access to information & meet people meanwhile, check out one of their potlucks or movie showings.
David Wolfe, well-known raw foodist, we’ll be attending his Longevity Now Conference in California this weekend.
Gabriel Cousens, raw author & founder of “Tree of Life,” a retreat center in Patagonia, AZ which hopefully I will be visiting later in October.